JUST a few days ago the Republican President reminded citizens that special caution must be taken this winter, in light of Covid-19.
Yesterday, we woke up to news of a fire in the heart of Lusaka’s central business district, as Auto World on Freedom Way went up in smoke. A guard was alerted to the fire raging within the premises by smoke and it took three fire hoses to douse the inferno, but the damage was done.
Zambia Police acting spokesperson Danny Mwale disclosed that a security guard saw smoke coming out from the roof of the building and raised the alarm with four fire engines being dispatched to the scene.
“Later, reinforcement from Zambia Air Force fire fighters and a team from Zesco arrived at the scene. Power was disrupted in the Central Business District to avoid fire from spreading to other buildings.
“Pierre Findlay, aged 44, one of the managers of Auto World stated that most of the goods burnt were tires and oil lubricants,” Mr Mwale said.
Just a few days ago another fire was extinguished but this time at Lusaka’s Mutendere market, where property in a shop went up in flames but the fire brigade was able to prevent the fire spreading to neighbouring shops.
Fire and winter are often synonymous in Zambia.
More often than not, the cause is an unattended brazier but in other instances electrical faults.
In light of Zesco’s load management, we have slowly become accustomed to fire outbreaks upon the sudden return of electricity supply or in other cases fire starts when a candle or brazier is left unattended.
These fires often start small but can eventually lead to total destruction and loss of property and unfortunately, even loss of life.
It is this potential of a small flame that we as citizens must remain alive to.
The coronavirus pandemic is still taking its heavy toll on more advanced economies, we must not put ourselves at risk by losing sight of the dangers of Covid-19 in this winter season.
We have been warned by medical practitioners and we must remain vigilant to avoid firefighting later.
Just as it takes a massive effort to put out a fire, so it is with us as citizens to work together with authorities to avoid a Covid-19 inferno.
As different sectors begin to open up from the Covid-19 partial lockdown bars and nightclubs remain closed specifically because of their potential to spread the coronavirus under a compromised environment.
There is little guarantee that social distance or public health will be guaranteed and it is an undisputed fact that flu and common cold is more prevalent in the winter season so why take the risk?
There is no smoke without flames, we may not have seen the jump in cases of Covid-19 but the virus is real and our safest option to stand guard and avoid an all out inferno.
If we relent and allow social disobedience to take hold there is no telling what damage will be caused? Neither will we be able to get back life that may be lost.
Stay home, stay safe and abide by the public health guidelines and more importantly keep guard to avoid fires.