Unless misunderstood, the Statement from Hon Minister of Health about the second fatality of Covid 19 is worrying for the following reasons:
1. It does not state when the patient first went to the clinic in Kafue, how long he was at the clinic and how he was handled while at clinic and how he was transported to UTH. Fact: He was not tested at Clinic in Kafue. So he infected others before and while at clinic.
2. It does not state when he was brought to UTH and how long he was admitted at UTH. Fact: He was not tested at arrival at UTH. So he infected others while at UTH.
3. It would appear that the patient was only suspected of Covid 19 after deterioration in his condition possibly after having been admitted at UTH for some days after which he was now tested.
4. In terms of the situation of this patient and the manner he was handled from a process and reasonable expectation perspective, hundreds could now be infected just from this one patient from the moment he arrived at the clinic in Kafue. His family in Kafue, the health/ medical staff at clinic in Kafue, the transportation team from Kafue to Lusaka, UTH health/ medical staff, their families and others they have interacted with. The chain is unthinkable and sad.
Given the above, its logical to ask and be concerned about how many other such unfortunate cases are going on in our country.
Secondly could we reasonably be comforted by the low official statistics on the Covid 19 status in our country or be worried that perhaps our situation is much more serious and not fully captured by the official reports.
The point being that while the official statistics are true as known by the authorities, the factual situation is concerning except it’s not fully captured yet by the authorities because of the testing regime and capacity at the moment.
By implication the official figures could be placing us in a comfort zone that could soon be eroded and become explosive.
The need to adhere strictly to the GRZ covid 19 measures such as social/ physical distancing, frequent washing of hands, etc etc is NOW. Let us not be of the state of mind that suggests that things are okay in Zambia.
Whichever way this virus progresses in Zambia, let us do our part NOW to protect ourselves and others around us which will reduce pressure on the GRZ in the provision of medical facilities.
The author consented publication of this article on condition of anonymity.