Parliament heard this morning that Zambia has not recorded any case of the Indian COVID variant.
Minister of Health Jonas Chanda disclosed to the house that currently Zambia has no evidence of the Indian COVID variant.
Dr Chanda said this when responding to a question raised by Lukulu east area Member of Parliament Christopher Kalila Kalila who wanted to know whether Zambia has got cases of people with the Indian COVID variant in isolation facilities.
“Currently we have no evidence of the Indian COVID variant in the country,” Dr Chanda stated.
Dr Chanda counseled Member of Parliament to desist from listening to social media speculation but rather to trust the information provided by the Ministry of Health.
He informed Parliament that government has put in place intense public health security measures at all points of entry.
Dr Chanda indicated that part of the measures instituted by the Ministry is to retest travelers coming from high risk countries such as India.
He explained that the idea to retest travelers is to avoid the COVID variant coming into the country.
The Minister said the Ministry is aware of a few cases of people using forged COVID certificates.
And Health Minister has assured members of the public who received the first dose of the COVID vaccine that they will get their second dose of the vaccine in two months’ time.
Dr Chanda explained to the house that the first dose of the vaccine acts as a booster for Antibodies as it prepares the body for the second dose of the vaccine.
The Health Minister revealed that it was a standard practice for people to get two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine except for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“I want to assure all those who got the first dose that you will get the second dose of the vaccine,” he assured.
Meanwhile Dr Chanda has dismissed reports of people being forced to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
He told parliament that the Ministry has not received any report of health workers forcing members of the public to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr Chanda reiterated that cabinet has made it clear that the vaccination against COVID -19 is voluntary and not mandatory.
The Health Minister was responding to Chiengi Member of Parliament Given Katuta who wanted to know why some people were being turned away from health facilities for refusing to get the COVID- 19 vaccine.
Dr Chanda explained to the house that the Ministry of Health has engaged ZANIS to make public announcements concerning the vaccination programme as to create awareness.
He urged Members of Parliament to report any health worker forcing the public to be vaccinated.