Don’t rush to remove COVID-19 restrictions

We understand and appreciate the immense pressure the government is under to remove COVID-19 restrictions and let the nation live again.

But there are much greater dangers in the untimely reopening of the country and the removing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Let’s learn from the experiences of South Africa. That country is today well into the COVID-19 storm.

Gauteng is experiencing 12,000 plus new infections per day as from July 10.

The South African government opened up the country well before the peak of the infections, actually, as President Cyril Ramaphosa himself conceded, at the start of the pandemic.

With the massive concentration of poverty, overcrowding and inferior public transport the African working class who are struggling to retain or look for work are over exposed to infections. The deaths have begun to explode too.

Malls, shops, offices, now schools, funerals, minibus, taxis, weddings, churches, mines, factories have all become super spreaders of the virus.

There is a phased reopening of schools even as the infection rates are exponentially above 1.

At this point, the virus is simply free to roam until the ecological carrying capacity is reached, naturally.

Public hospitals were broken and overstretched even before the pandemic. Now Coronavirus patients are fighting each other for ventilators and undertakers are overwhelmed.

The virus has shone a brilliant light on the contradictions, inequalities, poverty, unemployment and racist distribution of resources, in that country.

It is the appalling poverty, sickness and deaths of thousands of workers which is weighing and raising great concern.

It is important that Edgar Lungu and his minions mull over things and seriously consider scientific opinions before reopening the country and removing COVID-19 restrictions.

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