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Easing COVID-19 restrictions

The 85 new cases announced a day after Edgar Lungu eased some COVID-19 restrictions show us what shouldn’t be done.

The rush to lift some COVID-19 restrictions without seeing a significant fall in new cases and without widespread testing is starting to show irresponsibility and recklessness.

And it goes against the advice of many infectious disease experts. Doing so certainly puts additional lives at risk now; it also risks generating an even deadlier new wave of infections.

It is not uncommon for infectious diseases like COVID-19 to have second waves, sometimes even more deadly than the first. The 1918 Influenza Pandemic – also known as the Spanish Flu – is a case in point. The second wave of the Spanish Flu was even more fatal than the first and contributed to a majority of the 50 million deaths worldwide from the pandemic.

With the development of a vaccine months or even years away, lifting COVID-19 restrictions needs to be very careful and strategic, guided by the advice of medical experts, and not rushed by economic needs.

We should continue with these restrictions for as long as they are needed to curb the spread of coronavirus, even if it means continued damage to the economy.

Easing restrictions too soon will surely spark a surge, causing further chaos and damage to our nation’s mental, physical and economic health.

The rampant discussions in, about, loosening coronavirus restrictions are not helpful. Caution and discipline are needed to avoid increasing transmission levels again.

We must stay cautious and disciplined to avoid running the risk of increasing transmission levels again.

We stand at the beginning of the pandemic and are still a long way from being out of the woods.

It would be a crying shame if we were to stumble into a relapse with our eyes wide open.

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