The Ministry of Health says it is revising the COVID-19 testing strategy due to the increase in the numbers, in geographical and community spread of the disease.
Minister of Health Jonas Chanda has explained that the revision in the strategy will be done on the criteria on who qualifies to be tested in the country.
He added that the tests will be done based on who needs it the most, to ensure that they are accorded the necessary health attention.
“I wish to update the public that the ministry is revising the COVID-19 testing strategy, that is, the criteria on who qualifies to be tested in the nation. The revision of the testing strategy has been necessitated by the increase in case numbers, geographical spread, generalized community spread of COVID-19 and the resultant increased laboratory turnaround time. This will result in prioritizing testing for those among us who need it the most, to ensure they are accorded the necessary health attention, “he said.
And Dr Chanda stated that government is aware of the importance of having a healthy nation by ensuring the physical, mental and social well-being of every individual in the country remains an important agenda.
He said this is why government has made it a priority to fight all diseases including COVID-19, which is affecting the country’s population.
Meanwhile, in the last 24 hours the country has recorded 1,308 new cases of COVID-19 out of 12,123 tests done.
Dr Chanda said the cumulative number of cases nationally is now 39,516 with a total of 389 patients admitted to health facilities, 280 on oxygen therapy, with 26 in a critical state and 13 mortalities.
“A total of 739 cases have been discharged from our facility and home-based management bringing the cumulative recoveries are 28,066. Sadly, 13 mortalities were recorded in the healthcare facilities while Six (6) deaths were recorded in the community (BID), Lusaka (5), Kalulushi (1),” he explained.
The Minister noted that 13 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours were classified as 5 COVID-19 deaths, 3 associated death and 5 which were yet to be classified, adding that the cumulative COVID-19 related deaths are now 578 (221 COVID-19 deaths, 339 associated and 18 yet to be classified.
He has since encouraged health care workers and all aligned personnel in the response to remain committed in the fight against the pandemic.