Health Minister Dr. Chitalu Chilufya says President Edgar Lungu is concerned with the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases triggered by cold weather and laxity in compliance to public health and social measures.
Speaking during the COVID-19 routine update at his office on Saturday Dr. Chilufya said Government was concerned that there has been an exponential rise in the number of cases and deaths especially BIDs.
“Government under the stewardship of President Edgar Lungu notes with concern the surging in the numbers of COVID-19 affecting our country and world over. The COVID-19 epidemiology in Zambia is changing rapidly. We have seen an exponential rise in the number of cases and indeed in the number of deaths furthermore the patients who have covid-19 in our facilities are now severely ill.” Said Dr. Chilufya.
He disclosed that from the tests that were conducted in the last 24 hours, 19 patients are critically ill and hooked to oxygen.
“As we speak today, we have 19 patients who are hooked to oxygen, the cold weather compounded by laxity in COVID-19 compliance to the public health and social measures have been factors that have been fuelling the pandemic.” He added.
Dr. Chilufya appealed to members of the public to adhere to public health and social measures adding that they should seek help whenever they feel sick.
“Our I would like to make an appeal to the public, to adhere to public health and social measures and to ensure that whenever they feel ill, they seek help quickly. This is important for us to stop the big number of people who are being brought in either critically ill or already dead. I further appeal to private hospitals to work closely with public institutions. To ensure that diagnosis is done quickly and people are linked to management of COVID-19 quickly.” He said.
Meanwhile the Ministry of Health has in the last 24 hours recorded 170 COVID-19 cases out of 1352 tests conducted bringing the cumulative figure to 2980.
“In the last 24 hours we have confirmed 170 COVID cases out of 1352 tests done. This brings the cumulative number of tests to 2980, 35 are contacts to known cases 61 were picked through the routine screening in our health facilities 46 were picked through routine community screening and 17 were truck drivers 11 were brought in dead as in, they are community mortalities.” Disclosed Dr. Chilufya.
He said 12 patients have been discharged, bringing the number of recoveries to 1462. But the minister also announced that the number of deaths has increased to 120.