Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Technical Services Dr. Kennedy Malama has expressed dismay at some assertions being made by some members of society that the Ministry of Health is falsifying COVID-19 cases to stop opposition political parties from holding rallies during the campaign period.
Speaking at a media briefing Dr. Malama said that in the last 24 hours 558 new cases have been recorded, representing a positivity rate of 6.9 the highest number recorded in over 2 months since the country came out of the second wave.
Dr. Malama said that the information shared by the Ministry is based on evidence and tests conducted, collective information that is gathered and given to the stakeholders who are the Zambian people so that they can take appropriate action.
“When you look at the team here, these are technocrats, we will be failing in our duties and responsibilities if we gave wrong figures, it is as good as resigning from your position,
“Why should I come here and tell the nation that we recorded 558 cases of COVID-19 when actually it’s 2? So what we are informing the Zambian people is that ‘this is the situation in our country,’ informed by the testing we are doing and the results we are getting.” Dr. Malama said.
Dr. Malama warns that from epidemiological reviews it is clear that the COVID-19 situation is worsening daily and the coming few weeks will be critical.
“Our hope lies in the fact that working together as a people we can change the landscape of COVID 19 in our country and avert the much dreaded Health and socio-economic disruptions we saw during the 1st and 2nd waves and even worse.” He said.
He further announced that the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA) has now approved five (5) COVID 19 vaccines for use in Zambia, following stringent review processes undertaken and riding on the World Health Organization Emergency Use listing of the vaccines.
“These ZAMRA approved vaccines are for Zambia are;
Sinopharm (Vero Cells), Jansen (Johnson & Johnson), AstraZeneca Covishield, AZD 1222 5 – Korean AstraZeneca and the Pfizer Biotech.” He said
He added that Government is taking all necessary steps to mobilize vaccines for the Zambian people and we will continue updating the nation.
“As we have stated before the COVID 19 vaccines are able to prevent infection, severe disease and death. Is it possible for someone who was vaccinated to test positive to COVID 19? The answer is Yes its possible but changes of getting severe disease and dying from COVID 19 are far much lower compared to the unvaccinated.” Dr Malama said
The Permanent Secretary has also reiterated the call for Zambians to take all necessary measures to avoid further spread of COVID-19 by adhereing to the stipulated prevention guidelines.
“Let me stress the importance of avoiding super spreader events such as weddings, kitchen parties, chilangamulilos, public political rallies among others. Super spreader events have been documented in our country, the region and globally as fertile grounds for the rapid spread of the covid 19 infection and disease.” He said