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GOVERNMENT has lifted COVID-19 restrictions for the next one month and further directed that bars, taverns, casinos, restaurants and nightclubs will operate normally while observing the five golden rules.

Government has also directed that churches and markets will operate normally while ensuring adherence to public health guidelines.

And Health Minister Sylvia Masebo has disclosed that some countries have removed Zambia from the high COVID-19 risk status.

In a statement, Friday, Masebo said the COVID-19 situation would continue to be monitored to inform appropriate decision making even before the end of the month.

“As a COVID-19 multi-sectoral response, we have continued preparing for the fourth wave and key to this preparation is ensuring that our people get vaccinated in addition to observing the five golden rules. Following the reduced transmission of COVID-19 in Zambia, Government has decided to lift the restrictions for the next one month starting 2nd October 2021. The COVID-19 situation will continue to be monitored to inform appropriate decision making even before the end of the month. The new guidance on the various restrictions which have been in place is as follows; (1) Churches and other places of worship: Worship services are to be conducted normally, subject to observing the five golden rules. Religious leaders are urged to disseminate public health messages to congregants, including encouraging congregants to get vaccinated; (2) Markets and trading places – To operate normally while ensuring adherence to public health guidelines. All traders and customers are urged to observe the five golden rules and regular disinfection of premises,” the statement read.

“(3) Public places and transport – Transport operators must ensure masking up of all passengers is always observed and that conveyances are thoroughly disinfected and sanitized regularly. (4) Public events of a social nature to be held while observing the five golden rules. Masking and physical distancing should always be adhered to. (5) Work places – Employers should ensure that employees return to normal working arrangements with strict adherence to the 5 golden rules. (6) Physical conferences, workshops, and general meetings – We encourage holding of virtual meetings. Where physical meetings are necessary, facilitators must ensure that the meetings are held in compliance with five golden rules and adequate meeting space is provided to allow physical distancing.
(7) Bars, taverns, casinos, restaurants, night clubs will operate normally and strictly observe the five golden rules including regular disinfection of premises.”

Masebo also gave an update on the suspected munkoyo poisoning in Nampundwe.

“We are pleased to report that there are no new cases associated with the suspected munkoyo poisoning in Nampundwe. Four (4) of the five (5) patients admitted to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) have been discharged, one remains on observation. Both patients who were admitted to Nampundwe healthcare facility have also recovered and have since been discharged,” she said.

“Concerning the ‘gassing’ event in Chingola, there are no new cases reported to our health facilities. The District Surveillance Teams supported by the Police continue monitoring other schools in the District. We have seen an increase in the number of children being admitted with diarrhoea in Choma district. Our clinical and surveillance teams are currently investigating these cases.”

Meanwhile, Masebo disclosed that some countries had removed Zambia from the high COVID-19 risk status.

“Zambia’s continued encouraging COVID-19 situation, has led to the country attaining the COVID-19 green status as reported by the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Green status implies that Zambia is experiencing low COVID-19 transmission. Encouragingly, Zambia has also been removed from high risk status by some countries and we are confident that soon, others will follow suit, which will be a major boost for travellers from Zambia who have continually been required to quarantine upon arrival. We encourage our people that as you plan your travel, check the entry requirements for the country you intend to travel to,” said Masebo.

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