Ministry of Health says it is determined to maintain the recent downward trend and flatten the third wave curve after it recently recorded a reduction in hospital admissions for the first time in days.
Government yesterday reiterated directives to curb COVID-19 in the country, building on the earlier pronouncements made on June 16, 2021.
Speaking in a statement to ZANIS, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Kennedy Malama said in its effort to balance saving lives and saving the economy, government had provided clear guidance that previously announced measures would remain in effect pending the issuance of additional guidance.
Dr Malama noted with disappointment that some business houses decided to go ahead and resume operations with impunity.
Dr. Malama described the behavior as unpatriotic which should be condemned by all well-meaning Zambians.
He noted that such actions would set the country back from the progress it had made in curbing the third wave.
He has assured the nation that the multi-sectoral team of enforcers will not relent but continue with operations to bring these culprits to book.
He revealed that out of the 1,627 premises inspected in the last 24hours, 1,395 (86%) were compliant; 212 (13%) were served with notices and 87 (5%) were closed.
Dr Malama also noted that despite the country’s delay in starting the COVID-19 vaccination programme, government has noted progress on the vaccination program and that the response is overwhelming hence guaranteeing no vaccine wastage.
“We have come a long way from the initial vaccine hesitancy to now seeing a rush for vaccines, we commend members of the public for this positive response and we will not disappoint as we have ramped up our efforts to bring more vaccines into the country,” he said.
He disclosed that in addition to governments procured consignment of 4.4million doses of Johnson and Johnson expected under the African Vaccine Alliance Trust (AVAT), 100,000 doses of Sinopharm from the Chinese government.
He outlined that an undisclosed quantity of Sinopharm under the COVAX facility is expected while 580,320 doses of Pfizer, 165,000 and another 136,800 doses of Johnson and Johnson is expected from the US government and the COVAX facility.
He further disclosed that an additional dose of AstraZeneca is expected in the country by the first week of September.
He added that the development was an indication that government was committed and would endeavor to protect the people from severe disease and deaths presented by the current and future waves.
He disclosed that 10,547 of dose one and 3,824 of dose two AstraZeneca vaccinations were administered in the last 24hours bringing the cumulative vaccinations to 213,237 to date.
He further disclosed that 1,328 new COVID-19 cases out of 7,367 tests conducted in the last 24 hours were confirmed, giving an overall positivity of 18% and bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 184,672.
“The distribution of the new cases and within province positivity are as follows: Central 151 (21%), Copperbelt 70 (11%), Eastern 129 (31%), Luapula 103 (22%), Lusaka 311 (14%), Muchinga 60 (14%), Northern 103 (18%), North-western 141 (29%), Southern 161 (16%) and Western 99 (21%),” he outlined.
“Regrettably, we report (30) new COVID-19 related deaths in the last 24 hours, 29 of the deaths having been classified as COVID 19 deaths and one as a COVID-19 associated death. We note that this is the lowest death we have recorded in the past weeks and we will continue building on this progress,” he said.
Dr Malama said the breakdown of COVID-19 cases indicate Copperbelt 10; Lusaka 6; Southern 5; Eastern 3; Northern 2; Western 2; Central 1; and Muchinga 1 bringing the cumulative number of COVID 19 related deaths recorded to 3,052 while classified COVID-19 deaths as 2,267 and 785 COVID-19 associated deaths.
Dr Malalma said 1,268 patients from 105 isolation facilities and 1,163 from home management have been discharged bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 169,320.
The Permanent Secretary confirmed that there are 12,300 active cases, with 11,480 (93%) under community management and 820 (7%) admitted to COVID-19 isolation facilities.