An additional 120,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine is expected to arrive in the country in August this year from the COVAX facility.
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Kennedy Malama said the doses are in addition to the 108, 000 expected on June 21, 2021.
Dr. Malama announced the development in Lusaka yesterday during a routine COVID -19 update.
“On a brighter note, we have received further communication from the COVAX facility that an additional 120,000 doses have been allocated to Zambia and is expected in August this year. This is in addition to the 108,000 expected on 21 June 2021,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary said in an effort to ensure quality service, 3 of the testing laboratories including the UTH Virology, UTH pediatrics Centre of Excellence and Arthur Davison Children’s Hospital participated in the African Society for Laboratory Medicine facilitated testing certification program.
Dr. Malama was pleased to report that all the laboratories passed and have been accorded a 5-star status valid for 12 months.
And the Permanent Secretary announced that given the current COVID- 19 situation in the country, outpatient clinics in tertiary and general hospitals have been suspended.
He explained that the move is to allow appropriate deployment of staff amidst increasing cases and also to decongest the hospitals.
“Provincial Health Directors and Medical Superintendents are directed to closely work with the local leadership and stakeholders to communicate and implement this directive accordingly informed by local situation,” he stated.
Dr. Malama added, “Further to reduce congestion in health facilities, we have restricted visitations to health institutions countrywide. As we all know, hospitals are a source of infection but similarly, visitors can bring infections into the health facilities.”
Meanwhile, Zambia has in the last 24 hours recorded 2,358 new confirmed cases out of 12,064 tests conducted bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 110,332.
Dr. Malama says the breakdown of the new cases by province shows that Central Province recorded 219, Copperbelt 192, Eastern 301, Luapula 68, Lusaka 1,081, Muchinga 41, Northern 35, North-western 24, Southern 193 and Western 204 respectively.
And Dr. Malama announced that the country further recorded 17 new deaths in the last 24 hours.
“On a very sad note, we recorded 17 new deaths in the last 24 hours. This depicts daily mortality above 15 for 3 consecutive days this week. Of the Lusaka deaths, five were reported from our isolation and treatment facilities in high density sub-districts, namely Chilenje, Chipata, George and Matero in Lusaka,” he said.
Dr. Malama indicated that the new deaths have been classified as 12 COVID-19 deaths and five COVID-19 associated deaths bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded to date to 1,365 classified as 774 COVID deaths and 591 COVID-19 associated deaths.
The Permanent Secretary added a total of 972 discharges were made from both the COVID-19 isolation facilities and home management, which brings the cumulative number of recoveries to 96,646 (88% recovered).
“There are currently 12,321 active cases, of whom 11,781 are under community management and 540 are admitted to our COVID-19 isolation facilities. Among those currently under admission, 366 are on oxygen therapy and 49 are in critical condition,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Dr. Malama noted that 174 new admissions were recorded countrywide in the last 24 hours which is the highest number of new admissions ever recorded.
“All our provinces now have a test positivity rate of over 5%, indicating that community transmission has unprecedentedly increased. Today we see a real risk of overwhelming our health care system at the rate we are receiving patients in our health facilities,” stressed the Permanent Secretary.
Dr. Malama said the situation calls for everyone to show solidarity and save the country and reiterate the appeal to political leaders to reflect on political activities and stem the transmission of the infection.