Chief government spokesperson Dora Siliya has said a complete lockdown in Zambia cannot work because people will not survive.
She has also disclosed that the government is talking to the private sector to consider waiving rentals from business houses that have had to close down during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Ms. Siliya, the Information and Broadcasting Minister, said the Ministries of Commerce and Finance are engaged in discussions to find a way that the government could mitigate losses on property owners that could forego rentals for their premises rented out to businesses that are suffering effects of Coronavirus.
She also said the government was being realistic by not going for a total lockdown in view of the Coronavirus outbreak because doing so was not feasible as some families were surviving on hand to mouth.
She said a lockdown involved an extreme shutdown where we say a curfew is imposed and no citizen would be expected to leave their homes.
Ms. Siliya said this also means that shops and other facilities will have to close, except hospitals and the police stations.
She said the doctors have advised that a reasonable shutdown required at least a minimum of 14 days, but for it to be effective, 30 days are needed.
Ms. Siliya wondered if such a scenario would suit many Zambians who buy commodities like mealie meal almost daily to survive.
She said the Zambian government therefore opted for another form of only appealing to people to stay home while a few facilities were closed to contain the outbreak.