The Ministry of Health has expressed worry at the daily increase of confirmed COVID 19 cases being recorded countrywide resulting in overburdening isolation and treatment facilities.
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Kennedy Malama says the ministry’s projections have come to pass barely three weeks into the third wave, which is proving to be more virulent compared to the previous two waves.
Dr Malama noted that if the situation continues at this rate unchecked bed spaces will be filled up swiftly.
“With a high case load, our health care workers are getting stretched and like in any other setting this tends to affect the quality of care. As such, it is critical that we address the root cause of the problem. If we do not close the taps of community transmission, the situation will continue to escalate,” the Permanent Secretary explained.
He also mentioned that the Ministry is aware and shares the concerns from parents and educators with regard to some school going pupils testing positive for the virus.
In a statement issued to ZANIS today in Lusaka, Dr Malama however, called on the parents and educators to consider the seven months of schooling that were lost last year which have not yet been recovered.
“Take into consideration that our children lost over 7 months of schooling last year, the time that they are yet to recover and we are closely monitoring the situation to inform decision making. Of course life is always supreme and we will make decisions based on evidence available,” he added.
Dr Malama revealed that 2,065 confirmed cases and 16 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 107,974 and 1,348 cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded.
“The breakdown of the new cases and positivity by province are as follows: Central 303 (22 percent), Copperbelt 274 (15 percent), Eastern 312 (20 percent), Luapula 45 (8 percent), Lusaka 709 (22 percent), Muchinga 31 (5 percent), Northern 24 (3 percent), North-western 25 (7 percent), Southern 219 (16 percent) and Western 123 (16 percent),” he explained.
“We had 126 new admissions in the last 24 hours. There are currently 10,952 active cases, of whom 10,496 (96 percent) are under community management and 456 (4 percent) are admitted to our COVID-19 isolation facilities. This situation is unprecedented in our country. Among those currently under admission, 334 (73 percent) are on Oxygen therapy and 45 (10 percent) are in critical condition,” Dr Malama added.
The Permanent Secretary has called on the community to adhere to the COVID 19 measures to stop the further spread of the virus adding that complicity and laxity are the biggest enemy at community level.
“The Public Health Act clearly stipulates that in a pandemic situation such as this, no public gatherings should be held without due certification by the local authorities. This applies to weddings, parties, funerals and other such gatherings. The public is therefore urged to adhere to this guidance,” he added.
“We are leaning on the comparative advantage of leaders of congregate settings including markets, bus stops and bus stations, schools, and churches. In addition our Political leaders are once again called upon to ensure that the political gatherings are avoided as they are fertile grounds for COVID 19 transmission,” Dr Malama noted.
He mentioned that more cases are coming from high density areas adding that some of the people who have succumbed to the virus are from these high density areas indicating that COVID 19 is not only for those from low density areas.