The ministry of health has appealed to members of the public seeking to get their first dose of the COVID 19 vaccine to remain to calm further urging those awaiting their second dose to avoid seeking the vaccination before the recommended 10-week period between doses.
In a statement, Ministry of Health permanent secretary Technical Services, Dr. Kennedy Malama says the ministry is aware that the public has been anxious to receive the vaccines which are why vaccination sites will operate from Monday to Saturday, with teams working half day on Saturday, whereas Sundays will be reserved for data reconciliation and some rest for staff.
“We appeal to the public for calm and to avoid seeking the vaccination before the recommendation 10-week period between doses as this reduces the overall efficacy.”
Dr. Malama has since reiterated the country’s vaccination pillar remains a critical tool in the COVID 19 response to confer a level of protection on people against severe illness, hospitalization, and even death further disclosing that 4,006 doses of the second vaccination of AstraZeneca were administered in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Zambia has in the last 24 hours recorded Sixty-Four (64) new COVID-19 related deaths and One Thousand Nine Hundred and Forty-Nine (1,949) new confirmed COVID-19 cases out of 8,473 tests conducted representing a 23 percent positivity rate.
Dr Malama says the country currently has 14,893 active cases, out of which 1,132 are admitted to COVID-19 isolation facilities with 787 on Oxygen therapy and 146 in critical condition.
And Dr. Malama has disclosed that the ministry will continue expanding intensive care space with 15 beds earmarked for addition at the Lusaka Specialist Hospital in the coming week while High Dependency Units establishment is being rolled out countrywide.
“We are continually expanding intensive care space with 15 beds earmarked for addition at the Lusaka Specialist Hospital in the coming week while High Dependency Units establishment is being rolled out countrywide. Our preparations are focussed not only on the current but future situations too.” Dr. Malama said.
The permanent secretary has further disclosed that 648 premises which include bars, nightclubs, and casinos from were in the last 24 hours inspected countrywide, and of these 509 were compliant whereas 45 were closed, and 139 were served with notices.
Dr Malama has however expressed optimism that the COVID 19 situation in the country will soon be brought under control soon as the ministry continues ramping up the preventive interventions in the communities coupled with the vaccination against COVID 19.
“Today we see some sustained reduction in admissions to our hospitals and increasing discharges. However, we still have a high number of critically ill patients and this is affecting patient outcomes.” He said.