Lusaka – There is a need for mindset change among Zambians or the country risks a devastating fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s Secretary for Health (technical services), Dr Kennedy Malama has warned.
He urged citizens to get vaccinated against the new coronavirus as the experts project a fourth wave to sweep across the country from December to early 2022. To date, about three percent of Zambians have been vaccinated.
Dr Malama this week said, “As we are fighting the third wave, there is a possibility of a fourth wave in December into next year and the people getting the vaccines would have mutated by then and they would resist the virus.”
Health authorities said the public should take projections of a fourth wave seriously and start preparing at individual, family, community and institutional levels. Going by experiences from previous waves, they said it was rational to assume that the fourth one would be worse than its precursors.
“Our comfort is that we have gained more experience and with our ongoing preparedness, we will be able to mount an effective response,” Dr Malama said.
Meanwhile, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) has hailed Zambia’s co-ordinated response towards the COVID-19 pandemic.
Southern Africa regional co-ordinator at Africa CDC, Dr Lul Riek, this week said: “The response to the pandemic in Zambia is different compared to other countries as evidenced by the daily briefs that the Ministry of Health provides on the evolution of the disease. The initiative helps the country in making informed decisions on what needs to be done in combating the pandemic.”
While handing over 1,536 rapid testing kits to the Zambia National Public Health Institute, Dr Riek said Africa CDC was committed to supporting the institute so that it becomes a centre of excellence for the entire Southern Africa region.