SOUTHERN Province minister Edify Hamukale says despite COVID-19 being a bad disease it made men get closer to their spouses.
And Dr Hamukale said it was expected that consumption of beer in the province would increase last Thursday following the presidential directive that all bars be closed in view of the virus.
Addressing the media at the provincial administration on Thursday, Dr Hamukale also said he sympathised with English premier league side, Liverpool, whose title confirmation had been delayed by the virus.
“COVID-19 being a bad disease, but it has brought a lot of cohesion because men now are home-bound with their spouses. All husbands are now good boys staying in homes, no football matches going on and I sympathise with Liverpool for they will take long to get their title trophy,” he said. “As a province we have trained professionals at Kazungula border, and currently plans are underway to train more in Sinazongwe. We have also identified isolation centres in the province.”
Dr Hamukale reiterated President Edgar Lungu’s directive to all public facilities to provide hand sanitisers as well as other necessities to their clients.
“Street vending is banned as well as bars, although I’m told that people are drinking beer in advance. The consumption of beer is expected to increase today [Thursday], and I wonder why not save that money to use it to fight the disease,” said Dr Hamukale. “We are also urging people to support government either by giving us fuel for our colleagues in the health sector, water, procurement of disinfectants. So, the public is free to donate to the provincial administration. In the same vein we are urging the people in the province to comply with measures that have been put in place. Listen to your local leadership; be it MPs, councillors and traditional leadership. As leaders we should influence our following to adhere to the guidelines put to fight COVID-19.”
And provincial permanent secretary Mwangala Liomba urged people not to panic.
“There is no need for people to panic. History is there, during the time of our forefathers there was leprosy and malaria. Recently came HIV/AIDS, so even now no need for panic, but we just have to observe guidelines put by the health ministry,” said Liomba. “Government won’t cut anyone’ s salary for not going for work in this period. I’m directing district commissioners that, please, speak to your people that they are safe. Very soon the Secretary to Cabinet will give guidelines as to who is supposed to stay home in this period while in some cases officers will be alternating.”