By Scoop Reporter
STIGMA risks seriously jeopardising the fight of our lifetime against the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19), President Edgar Lungu has warned.
President Lungu yesterday urged Zambians to guard against stigma towards COVID-19 because doing so had devastating effects just like the case is with HIV.
He says stigmatizing COVID-19 can breed fear in people, leading those infected to feel helpless and hopeless hence, the information shared or not share has a very serious bearing on the outcome of the collective fight against COVID-19.
He says stigma can lead many people to shun COVID-19 testing centres and stop reporting suspected cases and that as a result, this could prevent Zambia from correctly determining the full extent of the pandemic and implementing necessary interventions to prevent the unchecked spreading of the disease.
“Stigma risks trivializing the fight against COVID-19 because it encourages misinformation and indifference, and plays-down the significance of solidarity. Stigma can cause serious psychological trauma especially for those of our people who may be infected as well as the affected families and friends.
“This is not the time for stigma and politicking. This is a time for patriotism, magnanimity, solidarity and scientific evidence. The fight against COVID-19 is a fight to safeguard the lives and enhance the livelihoods of all Zambians. This goes beyond tribe, our status and our political persuasions,” President Lungu said.