Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya has said that the Ministry is still determining the extent of the COVID -19 disease in the country. Speaking at the latest COVID-19 update, Dr Chilufya said that the mass screening and targeted testing will continue in selected parts of Lusaka to help ascertain the extent of the pandemic.
The Minister said that mass screening and testing will this week be done in Lusaka’s Rhodespark and Madras in Kamwala among other areas. Dr. Chilufya has appealed to Lusaka residents to cooperate with the medical officers who are carrying out mass screening and targeted testing.
The Minister also disclosed that Makeni still remains the centre of focus and that 746 individuals have been screened from the mass screening exercise which he said will continue into this week and later be extended to Rhodes Park and other parts of Lusaka and therefore appealed to all Lusaka residents to remain cooperative as massive screening is upscaled.
“We are emphasizing the need to stop new infections and we shall continue mass screening so that we do not promote further human to human transmission,” he said and urged people to play their part even as the government ponders to open some sectors of the economy.
“This is a fight that we can win but requires collective responsibility, collective effort, and patriotism by ensuring that all directives which include staying at home, social distancing, and avoiding unnecessary travels are followed,” he said.
Meanwhile, 4 new positive cases of COVID-19 have been recorded out of 378 tests carried out in the last 24 hours, 3 of which are cases are within Lusaka while one is from the Copperbelt.
Speaking at the latest COVID-19 update, Dr. Chilufya explained that one case is from Chilenje out of the mass screening,one is a UTH patient who had a dental abscess and was picked from the surveillance and tested positive and the other whose address is yet to be established is the one from the Copperbelt.
He said cumulatively cases now stand at 88, 3 deaths, 43 active cases, 37 recoveries while 2,931 persons have been discharged from the mandatory quarantine with 1,092 alerts recorded and cleared as non-positive cases.
And Dr. Chilufya said concerns of the Resident Doctors Association of Zambia arising from uncertainty on personal protective equipment PPE’s, compensation and incentives of health personnel are being looked into through constant engagements with all sector players in order to ensure that all the issues concerning them are prioritized and emphasized that this is the time for constant engagement as opposed to industrial disharmony to effectively deal with the pandemic.
He has assured all frontline health workers of government’s commitment and provision of PPE’s and other support including the recruitment of more health personnel as directed by President Edgar Lungu.
Dr Chilufya also thanked the Religious groupings that have cooperated with the government and opted not to re-open church services due to the outbreak. He also thanked the media for the role they are playing in disseminating information to the public aimed at influencing behavioral change. Dr Chilufya, however, stressed that the call to action is to stay home and safe.