By NCHIMUNYA MIYOBA
Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya says the call by some opposition political leaders to ban Chinese Nationals to travel to Zambia should be condemned by all as it is discriminatory.
Mr Chilufya has disclosed that Zambia has not recorded any case nor has any Zambian student based in China been suspected of contracting the virus.
Speaking when he presented a ministerial statement on the Corona virus in Parliament this afternoon, Mr Chilufya said government is concerned with sentiments attributed by some leaders of the opposition to bar Chinese nationals to travel Zambia as the call amounts to social stigma and is an affront to the international regulations that Zambia is signatory to.
“The call to bar Chinese nationals to travel to Zambia is called social stigma, discrimination as it is an affront to the international regulations and must be condemned to the strongest terms.
Zambia will continue to operate within the international health guidelines and will follow guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) as it respond to this outbreak,” he added.
Mr Chilufya said the the country has enhanced surveillance at all points of entry because of the ease of spread of the virus adding that the contingency fund that was set up yesterday during an emergency cabinet meeting will go towards enhancing the Zambia National Public Health Institution and it’s partners including line ministries.
He explained that this will strengthen the response and preparedness that will ensure public health security is enhanced.
” Zambia has escalated its level of alertness to maximum and to this effect his excellence President Edgar Lungu summoned an emergency cabinet meeting yesterday at which an emergency contingency fund of K 50 million was set up to enhance preparedness,” he said.
Mr Chilufya emphasized that there is need for citizens to enhance personal hygiene such as washing hands to help reduce on the infection.
He added that local authorities should ensure that all there jurisdictions are cleaned up thoroughly to help in combating the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile the health Minister has disclosed that no student from China will be repatriated has since assured parents and citizens that the students are well looked after by the Chinese authority and the Zambian embassy.
So far 93,186 individuals have affected by the disease with 3, 219 deaths recorded by 0600 hours today.