Government has announced that all schools, colleges and universities will close this Friday 20 March 2020 in the wake of the Coronavirus threat.
The move is meant to avoid the outbreak of the virus which currently stands at 181,335 cases and 7,130 deaths recorded globally, with a daily increase of over 10,000.
Of recent concern is the rate of spread in Africa with cases escalating to 322 cases and 10 deaths. Since the first case in February 2020 according to health minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya.
Dr Chilufya announced Tuesday morning during a Coronavirus update that there are no reported cases in the country and dispelled reports of an outbreak in Ndola but reiterated that scaled up prevention measures have been put in place.
He announced that the statutory instruments 21 & 22 of 2020 had since been signed to facilitate management and control of COVID-19 and further said screening process will now be mandatory and more rigorous at all points of entry in the county
Dr Chilufya disclosed that pre departure screening for passengers travelling from high risk countries has been intensified and that embassies abroad have been directed to review visa applications and issuances while Zambians have been advised to restrict travels outside the country.
“A restriction has been imposed on all foreign travel, with the public being advised to reschedule all avoidable travel. Hygiene practices to promote infection prevention in all passenger vehicles, aeroplanes, marine transport, and other conveyances, and points of entry such as airports, harbours, railway stations and ground crossings is emphasised” he said.
The Minister further said all those travelling from high risk countries will be quarantined upon arrival and said all public gatherings and visitation to public places such as hospitals and prisons will be reduced and well regulated.
“in this regard all public places including shopping malls, markets and other trading places, restaurants, bars, bus stations, places of worship, schools, offices, and other congregate settings are mandated to ensure cleaning of surroundings and proper management of waste. Further, the public places MUST provide adequate and accessible facilities for hand hygiene and sanitation, failure to which they risk being closed” he said.
And speaking at the same event, Information and broadcasting Minister Hon Dora Siliya expressed concern with false reports concerning outbreaks of Coronavirus and urged the public to ignore any unofficial statements but emphasised that all updates concerning the matter will be officially communicated.