Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Dr Kennedy Malama said COVID-19 isolation and treatment facilities, including the private hospitals, are filling up at a fast rate, with 88 new admissions recorded in the last 24hrs.
In a statement released to the media, Dr. Malama has implored members of the public to avoid hosting super-spreading events and that the filling up of the said facilities is unprecedented, before adding that the situation in COVID-19 isolation and treatment facilities, although in line with earlier projections remains a cause for concern.
The Permanent Secretary said that Zambia stands a real risk of overwhelming the Health Care system, particularly case management if the situation of preventing and mitigating infections in the community is not collectively and expeditiously addressed.
Dr Malama reiterated the need to stop the spread of COVID-19 by closing the taps of community transmission.
“Currently, only Northern and Muchinga provinces report positivity rates less than 5%, a clear indication that the rates of community transmission have drastically increased countrywide, compared to just three short weeks ago when we had a nationwide positivity of between 1-5%,” Dr Malama said.
“We, therefore, urge the public to be weary of hosting super spreader events such as weddings, kitchen parties, amatebeto, Workshops, meetings, and other large gatherings which are all springboards of infection.”
Dr. Malama also indicated that the directives issued during the last address to the nation on curbing COVID 19 by the Head of State remain in full effect.
Dr. Malama however implored all relevant line Ministries and stakeholders to enforce them accordingly.
He also urged local authorities and leaders in congregate settings “to step up the efforts and ensure implementation of interventions at the community level as well as enforce adherence to the public health guidelines including the provision of accessible handwashing facilities particularly in markets, bus stations and trading places, the correct and consistent wearing of facemasks and regular cleaning and disinfection of markets, bus stops and other public spaces.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Malama said the Africa Union / Africa CDC Trusted Travel platform rollout plan has reached an advanced stage, with a list of multidisciplinary and multisectoral focal point persons identified and key staff scheduled to be trained in the coming five days.
He said the government will issue a travel advisory in this regard soon to ensure that travelers are kept abreast of the developments.
The Permanent Secretary also said the government scheduled to launch the platform on 17th June, this year adding that the platform will make convenient travel arrangements for those incoming and exiting the country.
“Yesterday, the Africa Union / Africa CDC launched the partnership with the MasterCard foundation worth $1.3 billion, which is expected to increase Africa’s access to vaccines. It will cover Resource Mobilization, procurement, Vaccine Research, and Development,” Dr. Malama said.
And the country recorded 1,767 new confirmed cases out of 14,445 tests conducted, representing a 12% positivity rate.
The country has also lost three lives to the pandemic while 197 have been discharged.
And Dr. Malama has called on members of the public to continue adhering to health regulations aimed at mitigating the spread of the pandemic.