COVID-19 is a time waster and destructor of our hard earned economic progress, says Dr Lwipa Puma.
Dr Puma, a medical doctor and former deputy minister of health , says he has continued monitoring the COVID-19 situation with a medical eye and concluded that the stage of fear of the virus has passed and it is time to tell the World Health Organisation (WHO) that people “can’t continue masking the whole Zambia any more”.
“Coronavirus has caused untold economic misery world over. But was it really necessary to join the bandwagon of fear and panic? In the initial stages, yes, it was since we didn’t know much about this disease. Is it necessary to continue to pretend that Covid-19 is dangerous and lethal? NO. I feel we have passed that stage of fear and panic and it’s time we told WHO that we can’t continue masking the whole Zambia any more. We have more important things to do than continue to promote fear and panic over a disease that can be equated to our local flu (Icifine),” Dr Puma said.
He said he had gathered enough information from the over a thousand cases to advise those in leadership to make progressive decisions.
“What’s the point of going to hunt for patients that are ultimately recovering on their own? This activity may just be misusing our national resources that could be used to build our country. Why not be magnanimous and brave enough to inform the nation that we have discovered that this disease is not as lethal as it was originally portrayed?” Dr Puma said.
He further said since it was now known that COVID-19 was not as lethal as originally portrayed, those with symptomatic cases should be sensitized to report themselves to health facilities or through designated phone numbers instead of actively hunting for cases that are ultimately recovering on their own.
“Let’s hang up the gloves and say, ‘the COVID-19 we have is not behaving same like the way we were originally informed’, and move to completely normal life,” Dr Puma said.
He said arising from his personal observations and available data, health professionals close to political leadership should advise on a progressive route for the country.
Dr Puma said, just like he observed earlier, “COVID-19, if people don’t realise quickly, is a hoax, time waster and destructor of hard earned economic progress.”
“Now that those at the helm of informing the nation are affected by the COVID-19 with minimal effects, I hope they will realise that for Zambia, ka bulwele ka chabechabe fye to those who are healthy (nika chifine). My personal reflections make me appeal to the President of the Republic of Zambia and those close to him to take the following decisions: stop the countrywide mask up campaign as it may not be as effective as portrayed. Let Zambians move freely. The masking up may be left for perceived vulnerable groups and later abandoned altogether. We can’t have our people wearing masks forever over a disease that is not lethal”.
Dr Puma further appealed to President Lungu to allow pupils and students to attend schools without masks.
He said the aforementioned would create a conducive atmosphere for learning.
“Even those who may catch the COVID-19 will recover anyway and in fact may develop some immunity to this disease. Open primary, secondary, colleges and universities for all groups unconditionally. Open all airports unconditionally. Those planes that want to fly encourage them to fly to Zambia,” Dr Puma said.
He also appealed to President Lungu to open bars unconditionally.
He said let people interact freely as Zambians have already devised innovative ways of drinking and were actually drinking.
Further, he advised to allow all games to start without subjecting players and fans to wearing masks.
Dr Puma said the only people who should wear masks and self-isolate were those that were symptomatic to avoid active spreading of this non-lethal COVID-19 infection.
“In other words, let’s go back to old normal since we have all seen that COVID-19 is not lethal to us as earlier portrayed. I am cognizant of the fact that many Zambians were already aware that our flu is quite contagious, though not lethal and even before the WHO hoax, those who had flu would tell colleagues that “I can’t greet you because I have flu”. That’s the old normal. Let’s go back to it. Let’s go back to old normal,” said Dr Puma.