Zambia in the last 24 hours detected 124 new cases of coronavirus from 8,446 tests conducted countrywide.
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Kennedy Malama said the surge in new coronavirus infections has taken the cumulative total of confirmed COVID- 19 cases in the country to 92,754.
Dr Malama indicated that 70 new were mainly detected through the Healthcare facility screening, 52 from routine screening which includes school surveillance and a case from points-of-entry and the other from contact tracing.
ZANIS reports that the permanent secretary said 28 districts recorded new cases of COVID-19 with Lusaka topping the list with 45 followed by Chikankata 15, Kitwe 10, and Kazungula 9.
Disclosing that Western province recorded zero COVID-19 case, Dr. Malama said Kabwe recorded 4 cases, with Chipata , Kasempa , Ndola , Petauke and Siavonga all recording three each.
Itezhi Tezhi , Kafue , Kalomo and Nyimba recorded two each while Chadiza, Chirundu, Kalumbila , Kaputa , Kasama , Lunte , Lusangazi , Mansa , Mazabuka , Mpongwe , Mumbwa , Nchelenge , Shiwang’andu, and Solwezi respectively, recorded a case each.
“ Two people from Chipata and Ndola died in the last 24 hours from COVID-19 related deaths, taking the death toll to 1,265, with 709 classified as COVID-19 deaths and 556 as Covid-19 associated deaths, “ Dr Malama announced.
36 discharges were recorded from both the Covid-19 isolation facilities and home management, bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 90,955.
This means that currently , Zambia has 534 active cases, of which 493 are under community management and 41 admissions to Covid-19 isolation facilities, out of which 25 are on Oxygen therapy and 4 in critical condition.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary has praised Zambians for coming forward to get vaccinated with the cumulative number of people inoculated against the covid 19 pandemic standing at 126,291 of which 120,769 received AstraZeneca and 5,522 received Sino pharm doses.
“We are encouraged by the high level of vaccine acceptance in the country before the pause. We would like to emphasize that Government has continued engaging various stakeholders in-country and abroad to mobilise more vaccines to steer our country to herd immunity”, said Dr Malama.
The Permanent Secretary urged the general public not to panic as more vaccines are sourced by government under the COVAX-Facility, and donations through diplomatic channels, and the private sector.
Government has paused the vaccination program to reserve the current doses for the second dose which becomes due on June 23rd 2021, he said.
Dr Malama further announced that administration of the second dose of the 13, 6000 doses of Sino-pharm for Chinese residents in Zambia which the Chinese government sent for its nationals has commenced today in Lusaka and is expected to start on the Copperbelt on Friday May 21, 2021.
He urged Zambians to take the COVID – 19 pandemic seriously as it is a novel disease with emerging variants making the pandemic to unpredictable locally and internationally.
Dr Malama regretted that people of Asian origin are being stigmatized and discriminated against following the detection of the Indian variant B1.1.617.1 in one person who travelled from India.
He paid glowing tribute to all the frontline Health Care workers countrywide who have continued to put in their best since COVID 19 was first confirmed in the country last year in March 2020.
Globally , 660,341 cases of COVID- 19 were detected and 13,185 deaths reported globally within the last 24 hours.
The highest burden of new cases were from Asia at 55%, followed by South America at 24%, Europe at 13%, North America 7%, and Africa at 1.5%.
Of the new cases detected in Africa, 35% were recorded in South Africa.