Zambia holds of complete lockdown

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Lusaka - Zambia will not go under a complete lockdown on the backdrop of surging COVID-19 infections, President Edgar Lungu has said.

Instead, the country will encourage greater adherence to health protocols as directed by the Health Ministry through applicable statutory instruments.

As of January 22, Zambia had recorded 585 deaths, 40,989 infections and 29,775 recoveries.

At a 2021 election campaign stop in Isoka near the border with Tanzania last week, President Lungu said while other countries had implemented stringent lockdowns and border closures, his administration was wary of the impact these would have on Zambia’s economy.

He said there had to be as few disruptions as possible to economic activity. The government did, however, postpone last week’s scheduled opening of schools by two weeks.

“The country is going through a very difficult period because of the COVID-19, but again we shall not allow the economy to close like other countries and what some people are advocating but the solution lies in all upholding the guidelines as we are being told by experts,” President Lungu said.

He also said COVID-19 was largely manageable if people adhered to regulations, while acknowledging that the new coronavirus outbreak could be “here for longer than was thought”.

President Lungu said indefinite closing of schools was not an option, adding that "we do not know when this disease will go away or whether it will go at all".

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