Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu says he will not authorise the re-opening of bars and nightclubs despite mounting pressure.
Zambia currently has a total of 1,382 positive coronavirus cases out of 45,248 tests conducted. A total of 1,142 people have recovered while 11 have died from the virus.
Mr Lungu ordered the closure of bars and nightclubs two months ago in a bid to fend off rising cases of Covid-19.
He now says that although he has received recommendations for the re-opening of bars and nightclubs from stakeholders, such a decision will be guided by socio-economic and health considerations.
“Yes, the recommendations have been received but we need to be careful because the numbers have not dropped and this is the month that we are told could decide how the pandemic evolves,” Mr Lungu said in a statement issued by his spokesman Isaac Chipampe.
“It is also important to note that it is not just bars and nightclubs, we also need to re-open the airports that were closed as well as various sports.”
Mr Lungu has appealed to owners of bars and nightclubs and their patrons to be patient.
He said Zambia had done well in stemming the spread of the coronavirus and that it would be a disaster to make a decision that would reverse the gains made.