The Ministry of Health has noted with sadness the rate at which people are evading the law with regards to public health directives and guidelines.
MOH Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Kennedy Malama observed that inspections and enforcement conducted last weekend on premises and patrons depicted a non-compliance of the COVID-19 health guidelines.
Dr Malama has urged the public to be compliant and avoid punitive action.
“It was disheartening to find people cramped in unhealthy environments including being packed into rooms with little or no ventilation creating super spreader conditions for further spread of COVID 19. We would like to restate that we will not rest and all those found wanting will be brought to book.
He said in last 24 hours, the multisectoral task teams inspected a total 1,922 premises countrywide of which 1,666 (88%) were compliant, 169 (9%) were served with notices and 47 (3%) were closed.
Meanwhile Dr. Malama revealed that in the last 24 hours the country recorded 4,948 dose 1 and 1,378 dose 2 of AstraZeneca vaccinations.
He said the cumulative vaccine doses administered now stands at 224,420 dose 1 vaccinations (217,521 AstraZeneca and 6,899 Sinopharm) and of which, 65,528 have gone on to receive dose 2 vaccinations.
Dr Malama further clarified that it is only Lusaka that has depleted its dose 1 allocation.
“We would like to reassure the public that we are working hard to acquire additional vaccine doses and have these in the country at the earliest possible time. This week we expect to receive an update from the COVAX Facility when our next consignment of Johnson and Johnson will arrive and the Nation will be updated immediately,” he said.
Dr. Malama said in the last 24 hours, the country recorded 630 new confirmed COVID-19 cases out of 3,174 tests conducted.
He added that despite the reduced absolute numbers of both the new cases and the tests conducted, the overall positivity remains high at 20%.
The cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date stands at 186,279.
“The distribution of the new cases and within province positivity are as follows: Central 60 (19%), Copperbelt 93 (15%), Eastern 40 (35%), Lusaka 210 (20%), Muchinga 39 (15%), Northern 47 (36%), North-western 35 (21%), Southern 36 (12%) and Western 70 (31%), he said.
Dr. Malama said a total of 29 new COVID-19 related deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours.
He added that a total of 1,621 patients (71 from our isolation facilities and 1,550 from home management) were discharged from the COVID-19 centres bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 173,320 (93% recovered overall).
The Permanent Secretary noted that the number of active cases yesterday has fallen to below 10,000 for the first time since June 10, 2021.
“We currently have 9,846 active cases, with 9,059 (92%) under community management and 787 (8%) admitted to our COVID-19 isolation facilities. We had 96 new admissions in the last 24hours (compared to 94 the previous day). Among those currently admitted, 583 (74%) are on Oxygen therapy and 134 (17%) are in critical condition,” he added.
Dr Malama has however expressed concern over the pool of critical ill patients in the past week and has since warned the public against being complacent and to observe the public health guidelines and social directives.