The total number of COVID-19 cases in Zambia has increased to 35 after the country recorded six more cases in the last 24 hours.
Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya addressing Journalists in Lusaka today said 51 more tests were carried out in the last 24 hours with six people testing positive.
Dr Chilufya said the six cases involve the people that travelled to Pakistan and those that had direct contact with them.
He said four of the cases are directly linked, a couple directly linked to the cohort that travelled to Pakistan, one domestic worker and a congregant who came into contact with the cohort who came into contact with those that travelled Pakistan.
Dr Chilufya said the number of cases that are as a result of local transmission stands at nine cumulatively while all confirmed cases remain stable and in isolation.
The Minister said all the patients will only be discharged once they test negative and asymptomatic to the pandemic.
Dr Chilufya added that the case that was described yesterday as severely ill is now stable and condition remains the same.
He said the patient continues to be monitored by the specialist staff at the Levy Mwanawasa Isolation centre.
And Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya has warned that businesses disobeying the Presidential directive to close down in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak will not only be shut down but will have their licenses revoked.
Dr Chilufya is saddened that some Businesses among them Bars, casinos and restaurants have continued to operate going against the directive.
He said those that are opening their premises for businesses are not only abrogating Statutory Instruments 21 and 22 but are also risking the lives of the people they are attending to.
Dr Chilufya has emphasized on the need for people to observe the pronounced Public Health measures such as sanitizing, washing hands with soaps, social distancing and staying home in order to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
The Minister has also emphasized the need for those that arrived in the country from 15th March 2020 using Kenya Airways, South African Airways, Emirates and Turkish Airline and have not been reached by health care providers to remain in self quarantine.
Dr Chilufya further emphasized on the need to avoid non essential travel to limit the chance of contact with COVID-19.
He said President Edgar Lungu has directed Cabinet Office to quickly identify non essential workers to allow them to work from home.
And Dr Chilufya said his Ministry is working with truckers, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Commerce, Trade and Industry to ensure that that trade continues.
He said there are also ongoing bilateral engagements to ensure essential trade continues so that the supply of essential commodities such as petroleum products is not disrupted.