HEALTH Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya has announced that 15 Members of Parliament have tested COVID-19 positive and are being isolated in various facilities and that 11 members of staff from the National Assembly have also tested positive for COVID-19.
However, the Minister of Health did not name the MPs that tested positive.
Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya said that the Members of Parliament have been contacted and isolated, and added that none of the 15 MPs is critically ill.
Speaking in Lusaka today during the routine updates, Dr. Chilufya disclosed that Zambia has recorded 154 new cases of COVID-19 and that the new cases were detected from the 835 tests conducted in the last 24 hours. The cumulative number of Covid-19 cases in the country now stands at 3,856.
Dr. Chilufya said two deaths have been recorded in the last 24 hours and this includes one of the critical patients at Levy Mwanawasa COVID isolation Center.
The Health Minister said the victim had co-morbidity with hypertension. Dr. Chilufya said the other involved one who died in the community in Lusaka.
Meanwhile, 253 patients have been discharged among people being nursed at the health facilities and on home isolation. This brings the total recovered to 1,941.
Dr. Chilufya further said 16 patients are on oxygen support and that two are in critical condition, while the rest of the patients are in stable condition.
This week, Vice President, Mrs, Inonge Wina and the Speaker of the National Assembly, Patrick Matibini led Members of Parliament and Staff of the National Assembly of Zambia in a mass testing exercise for the Coronavirus disease, 2019 (COVID-19) at Parliament Buildings on Wednesday, 22nd July 2020.
Speaking during the mass testing exercise, Her Honour the Vice President, Mrs, Inonge M Wina, MP, said it was imperative for every Member of Parliament (MP) to test and know their COVID-19 status considering that they will be interacting with their families and constituents. She also urged Zambians at large to not be sceptical but test for COVID-19 as it is a life-threatening disease.
And Speaker Matibini also encouraged staff of the National Assembly and MPs to take the test, pointing out that MPs were the apex of political leadership in the country and therefore needed to lead by example.
Speaking at the same event, Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs, Honourable Godfridah Sumaili, MP, praised the National Assembly of Zambia Management for organising such an exercise to enable MP’s and staff get tested quickly, she also thanked the Ministry of Health for reaching out to many Zambians and commended the church for being responsive to COVID-19 and adhering to the health guidelines in protecting their members.
Minister of Health, Honourable Dr Chitalu Chilufya, MP, stated that the advocacy of the mass testing exercise conducted by the National would go a long way in inspiring people to test for covid-19.
He also emphasized the need to invest in testing as it would help to detect cases early and administer therapy for better outcomes. He added that testing for COVID-19 would change the landscape of the pandemic.