By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
Caritas Zambia Chingola Coordinator Eugene Mulenga has condemned the new Covid-19 restrictions of the no entry policy in government premises and barring of civil servants from work without proof of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Mr Mulenga said that Government needs to be proactive than reactive to such situations because some of the new measure are harsh on the citizens.
He said that getting the Covid-19 jab should not be a forcing matter but a voluntary decision for each eligible person.
Mr Mulenga said that in as much as it should be a voluntary decision, it should not mean that citizens are discouraged to get vaccinated.
And a lot of residents have reacted to the new restrictions, with some calling them outrageous.
Bwalya Musonda a facebook user said “People advocating for human rights are the ones breaking them. Awe do not force people to get vaccinated, its not right. The vaccine that you are not even sure of working for the new variant. This is not right at all levels. Let people make their choices,” she said
Another user Simon Chibesa said that government should think twice before taking action because if this continues people will protest in streets.
“We have the right to choose to be vaccinated or not, just as patients have the right to choose to be treated or refuse treatment, in that case patients too must show proof of vaccination as they enter the same institutions (in short vaccinated health care workers must only attend to vaccinated patients), Grace Sokwe said.
Meanwhile, Mr Mulenga said there is need for Government to protect the Zambian territories by strengthening border entry restrictions because the Omicron Covid-19 variant is likely to be brought by those that travel frequently.
“I think what the Government needs to do is to strengthen the screening processes and create more vaccination points to decongest the ques as it is likely to be an hotshot on its own, Government should also give Zambians more time to decide and more time for it to protect Zambians from the people that are likely to bring the Omicron variant in the country,” he said.
He also urged residents to work with Government by following the Covid-19 golden rules to curb the spread of the virus.
Mr Mulenga retaliated that the Covid-19 vaccine must be voluntary and not forced on the people as some have strong immune systems that can fight various viruses and diseases.
But, Health Minister Sylvia Masebo has said that the restrictions and measures that have been in place are meant to protect Zambians and not harm them.
Ms Masebo said that they are provisions in the health acts that allow for the ministry to impose restrictions on citizens if and when there is a disease ranging like now.