Zambia has continued to record a reduction in the number of Covid-19 cases in the past few disease surveillance weeks.
Minister of Health Jonas Chanda said only one Covid-19 related death has been recorded in the last 24 hours in the entire country and 176 new cases out of 4,764 tests conducted.
Dr. Chanda said this brings the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 86,449 since the pandemic broke out in Zambia a year ago.
He disclosed that this brings the cumulative number of Covid-19 related deaths recorded to 1,179.
He has since advised members of the general public to remain adherent to the public health guidance of the country in order to maintain the gains made in halting community transmission of Covid-19 as indicated by the positivity rate.
Dr. Chanda has however warned that the reduction in the Covid-19 positive cases must be received with caution as there are still daily variations with some provinces consistently reporting positivity rates above the national average.
He noted that the surveillance teams continue to record clusters of cases around the country, some of whom are asymptomatic.
He explained that although scientific evidence suggests that asymptomatic case transmit the virus to significantly fewer people than those who are symptomatic, the fact that these infections tend to largely go undetected still pose a significant health risk.
Dr. Chanda said this is asymptomatic cases are more likely to remain within the community rather than isolated thus further spreading the virus.
‘’In order to maintain the gains made, we must continually adhere to public health guidelines at individual, household and community levels and strengthen our screening and testing capacity to ensure that we break the chains of coronavirus transmission and halt the spread of the virus,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Chanda commended the Zambia Immunisation Technical Advisory Group for its input and guidance regarding the planned Covid-19 vaccine acquisition and deployment programme.
The minister said the information provided by the team of experts has been crucial for further decision making by Cabinet as the country plans to integrate the vaccination pillar as a permanent feature of Zambia’s response strategy it is approved.
‘’As we continue to closely monitor the evolving epidemiology in the countries that have made progress in their vaccine roll-out, we note that attaining good vaccine coverage is essential for herd immunity,’’ said Dr. Chanda.