Zambia has today recorded 450 new COVID-19 cases, the second highest number since the outbreak with the call by government to have a change in approach to avert further spread of the virus.
The recorded cases are out of the 2,542 tests conducted in the last 24 hours and cumulatively brings the total number of cases to 5,002 with 3,185 recoveries while the death toll stands at 142, of which thirty nine (39) are Covid deaths, ninety eight (98) are Covid related while five (5) are yet to be classified.
Speaking when he gave the latest Covid-19 update, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for technical services Dr Kennedy Malama however disclosed that 380 Covid-19 patients among them, Members of Parliament have been discharged, while 27 patients are on oxygen support with 2 in critical condition.
He said the 450 cases include 296 detected through hospital screening,37 from contacts to known patients,100 from the routine testing, 11 are health care workers, 2 from community alerts ,1 from a truck driver from Mazabuka and 1 case was detected at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport.
Dr Malama said it is clear from the transmission distribution that the country has recorded two unprecedented spikes in the transmission of the virus with the positivity rate which was at around 3% in the early days of the outbreak now gone up to 30%.
“We need to do things differently if we are going to stop the further spread of the virus and avert further deaths in our country” Dr Malama said and called for collective responsibility from all stakeholders in order to stop the transmission.
He reiterated the need not to treat the pandemic as a hoax but heighten all measures such as masking up, social distancing and public hygiene in all places such as schools, public transport as well as markets which he regretted that public adherence to safety measures have reduced.
“Just masking up can significantly reduce the transmission. You can imagine if all of us in Zambia woke up tomorrow masked up, I can assure you that the rate of infection will be curtailed and the number of patients we are admitting will significantly reduce” Dr Malama observed.
Dr Malama however discouraged the use of Chloroquine for COVID-19 treatment saying Zambia currently is not using it to treat severe forms of the virus and discouraged against the use of the drug further warning that its use might have health complications.