Zambia is one of southern Africa’s most impacted nations despite being way behind continent leader South Africa.
A lockdown imposed by President Edgar Lungu has since been relaxed following a continent-wide trend. This article will focus on major developments coming from the southern African country.
May 10: Closure of border with Tanzania
The Zambian government has announced the closure of its common border with Tanzania. On Saturday (May 9) 76 new cases were reported in Nakonde, the border town in question.
The president directed that with effect from Monday 11th May, 2020; “the Nakonde border will be temporarily closed. There shall be no traffic in and out of Nakonde,” Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya announced at a COVID-19 press briefing on Sunday.
The measure is to facilitate the roll out of targeted interventions. During the time, immigration staff at the border will be trained and retrained on how to safely deal with entry of persons and goods.
Redeployments and reinforcements will also be undertaken, whiles Personal Protective Equipments and quarantine facilities and other key logistics will reinforced with the view to protect the lives of officials and the people of Nakonde.
Zambia’s case stats as of today stands at 267 confirmed cases with 117 discharges and 7 deaths. Tanzania on the other hand has 509 cases, 21 deaths and 183 recoveries, according to John Hopkins University tallies.
Tanzania’s overall response to the pandemic has been a mix of controversy. From president Magufuli casting doubts on the efficacy of test kits, refusal to implement measures such as curfew or lockdowns and reported cases of midnight burials.
May 8: Relaxation of lockdown measures
The president in an address to the nation on Friday announced the reopening of restaurants, gyms and casinos “as he calls on Zambian scientists to find local solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic,” local news portal Mwebantu reported.
However, bars and taverns were to remain closed until further notice. The president also reopened examination classes in schools beginning 1st June 2020. He stressed that all these measures should comply with public health measures aimed at containing and combating spread of the virus.
The president also challenged Zambian scientists to help find local solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. He stressed the need for professionals to find local solutions to challenges and not always rely on foreign solutions.
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