Health Minister Dr. Chilufya urged citizens to ensure that they go for tests in designated government and private laboratories to avoid being duped with false-negative COVID-19 results, adding that false-negative COVID tests will not prevent you from COVID
Speaking at a COVID-19 Briefing yesterday, the Minister said: “We have noted the emergence of some facilities that are purporting to be doing COVID tests and issuing false-negative results,”
The Minister further added that the designated centres where they test for COVID-19 are well known, the COVID facility at Levy, the COVID centre at UTH, and a number of sites that will be running.
The Minister further said that the Ministry will do community screening and its staff are well known.
The Minister urged the public to avoid the rapid tests that are being peddled and that there was room for antibody tests within our research and within our practice but that is within our technical realms.
The Minister urged the public to avoid being duped by unscrupulous individuals who are peddling COVID antibody tests and releasing them quickly because those false negative tests are going to give people a false negative assurance and they will still get ill.
The Minister further said that not knowing your status cannot change your status and that getting a false negative will also give a person a false sense of assurance and urged the public to get covid tests from designated sites.
The Minister said also dispelled assertions that there is a blood group that is immune to COVID-19.
“No blood group is known to be protected from COVID-19, yes there has been data showing that blood group O could have some protective effect, this has not been confirmed and so the position today is there is no proven blood group that confers protection,” said Dr Chilufya.
Meanwhile, Dr Chilufya revealed that a mental health specialist and a doctor in the mental health department died of COVID-19.
The two – mental health specialist Mr John Mayeya and Dr Anthony Zimba of the mental health department who was managing epilepsy – were not frontline responders in the COVID-19 fight but have been working in the health sector for over 30 years, he revealed today and expressed his heartfelt condolences on their passing.
“Today, we mourn two of our very senior colleagues in the health profession. These are not Frontline responders in the COVID-19 outbreak but have been working in the health sector for more than 30 years,” Dr Chitalu announced at yesterday’s briefing.
The Minister said that in the last 24 hours, Zambia recorded 182 new cases of COVID-19 and this is out of 651 tests conducted and that three patients were lost in the COVID-19 facility.
The Minister further said that the country continues to see very ill patients and that currently, there are 79 patients in our admission and out of these, 26 remain on oxygen and two are critically ill in the intensive care unit.
The Minister appealed to the public to present early to health facilities when they are sick because the outcomes are different in early presentation cases.