Zambia has breached the 100,000 mark of confirmed cumulative Covid-19 cases since the first case was recorded in March 2020.
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Kennedy Malama said Zambia has now recorded 100,278 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 pandemic following the detection of 738 new Covid-19 transmissions out of 6,987 tests conducted across the country in the last 24 hours.
Dr. Malama attributed the development to the advent of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic which has not only increased the number of new transmissions but also increased the number of deaths being recorded as a result of the coronavirus.
The Permanent Secretary said government however is scaling up its response and has since deployed infectious disease experts across the country to help provinces deal with the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said government has learnt many lessons from previous Covid-19 waves and is working hard to ensure that the country’s health systems remain buoyant to continue providing quality, adequate health care services to Zambians.
He further said to ensure continuity of routine health care services, the Ministry of Health will conduct child health week in the last week of June throughout the country.
“To respond effectively, we are increasing our hospital capacity in order to meet the demand, and we are providing support and technical assistance to the provinces. In this regard, we have provided infectious disease specialists to support teams in the provinces as we prepare for increased critical care management needs,” said Dr. Malama.
And Dr. Malama disclosed that government has made progress in the recruitment of 766 health care workers who will be placed in Covid-19 facilities.
The Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary said government is also strengthening the production and delivery of oxygen in hospitals and Covid-19 facilities.
Meanwhile, Dr. Malama said his ministry has finalized the resumption of the Covid-19 vaccination programme adding that the second dosage of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be rolled out later in June as part of enhanced response to pandemic, while the country grapples with the third wave.
He said the country’s positivity rate has gone up to 11 percent with Central province at 16 percent, Lusaka 15 percent, Western 14 percent, Eastern 9 percent, North western at 8 percent, Copperbelt 7 percent, Southern 4percent, Northern 3 percent, and Luapula and Muchinga at 2 percent each.
Dr. Malama said of the 738 new cases of Covid-19 recorded in the last 24 hours, Lusaka posted 431 cases, followed by Eastern at 78, Copperbelt 72, Central 68, Western 40, North western 18, Southern 13, Luapula 9, Muchinga 5 and Northern 4.
He pointed out that the third wave has come with increased cases of deaths with five patients all from Lusaka dying in the last 24 hours.
Dr. Malama said of the five deaths, four were classified as Covid-19 related while one was classified as a Covid-19 death, bringing the cumulative deaths to 1,308 deaths since the pandemic broke out in Zambia last year.
He said 338 discharges were recorded from both the Covid-19 isolation facilities and home management, bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 93,374.
Dr. Malama explained that there are currently 5, 596 active cases, of which 5,359 are under community management and 237 are admitted to Covid-19 isolation facilities, out of which 169 are on oxygen therapy and 25 in critical condition.
He has since urged the general public to refrain from holding super spreader events such as weddings, social, spiritual gatherings and workshops.
Dr. Malama further urged the general public to continue adhering to Covid-19 public health guidelines and measures of masking up, washing hands, maintaining physical distance, avoiding crowding, staying home and seeking medical attention early.