Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya has disclosed that the COVID-19 sample (1) which was carried by Ian Mutambo before his demise in a road traffic accident has been recovered and is being processed in Ndola.
Speaking to journalists during the Ministry’s routine COVID-19 briefings, Dr.Chilufya said that despite the accident other passengers were not at risk because the sample was packaged in line with internationally recognized standards to protect both the courier and conveyors.
“So there is no loss of sample and the packaging was in line with international practice. We do a triple layer packaging and that does not put at risk the courier or the people on the conveyers that should be made extremely clear, ” Dr. Chilufya said, adding: “A triple-layered packaging does not put the transporter or passengers at risk the sample was recovered intact, the sample is being processed in Ndola.”
The Minister also indicated that some social media bloggers had exaggerated figures of the samples to suit there intent but, emphasized that the deceased was only carrying 1 sample.
“I have seen that on social Media there are insinuations about so many samples that were being transported and so many samples have been lost so on and so forth. Let me set the record straight 1, there was one sample and that was packaged in line with internationally recommended recommendations or criteria. That means a triple-layered packaging.“
The Minister maintained that the death of health personnel should not be sensationalized on grounds that the government was also devastated.
And Chilufya said that an investigation has been instituted to establish facts and to see why there was a deviation from the measures established for COVID-19 leading to the death of Lab technician Ian Mutambo of Zambezi District Hospital in a road traffic accident.
Dr. Chilufya says the Provincial Health Director will supervise the investigation which is already underway to establish the facts that led to the accident and what led to the circumstances for transporting COVID-19 samples using public transport.
Speaking during the routine COVID-19 updates in Lusaka, Dr. Chilufya has urged the media particularly bloggers to allow the family to mourn by according them the secrecy during the mourning period.
Dr. Chilufya said the Government will fully support the family to ensure that Ian Mutambo is put to rest in a dignified manner befitting a fallen hero.
He said President Edgar Lungu is saddened and concerned with what transpired in Manyinga District and has ordered a full investigation in the matter.
Dr. Chilufya said he will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that all the facts are established behind the death of Ian Mutambo in a road accident involving a Power Tools Bus which plunged into the Banks of Kabompo River.
Meanwhile, Dr. Chilufya has disclosed that Zambia in the last 24 hours recorded 13 new cases of the COVID-19 pandemic bringing the total number of cases 137.
Dr. Chilufya said a total of 811 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours out of which 13 cases tested positive for the pandemic.
He said 9 of the cases are known contacts to the cases recorded in the past four of whom are from Chilenje Level one Hospital, three through health facilities screening and one through mass screening.
Dr. Chilufya said there was no discharge in the last 24 hours and all patients remain stable in the Government isolation centers.