Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Kennedy Malama says the third wave of the COVID-19 has stretched the health care system in the country to the limit. Dr Malama was gratified to note the reduction of hospitalization and discharges which he stated has eased the pressure on the health care system.
Dr Malama has called on members of the public not to drop the guard but heighten compliance to public health and social measures in addition to getting vaccinated. “However, as long as community transmission continues as evidenced by the high positivity rate, it implies that COVID-19 is not yet controlled in our country. Our target positivity rate is less than 5% and today we report 17% positivity rate which is way higher than our target”, he said.
Dr. Malama said the country recorded 971 new confirmed COVID-19 cases out of 5,682 tests bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 188,573.
“The distribution of the new cases and within province positivity are as follows: Central 128 (24%), Copperbelt 132 (23%), Eastern 115 (28%), Luapula 90 (19%); Lusaka 138 (8%), Muchinga 81 (24%), Northern 133 (22%), North-western 6 (18%), Southern 106 (16%) and Western 42 (19%)”, he added.
He explained that 24 new COVID-19 related deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, 19 of which have been classified as COVID-19 deaths and 5 as COVID-19 associated deaths.
“The breakdown of the new deaths by province is as follows: Copperbelt 6; Lusaka 5; Northern 3; North-western 3; Central 2; Luapula 2; Southern 2; and Western 1”, he said.
He said the cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded to date now stands at 3,162 classified as 2,355 COVID-19 deaths and 807 COVID-19 associated deaths.
The PS also noted that a total of 701 patients were discharged, 111 from the isolation facilities and 590 from home management bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 175,429
Dr. Malama said there are currently 9,982 active cases, with 9,247 under community management and 735 admitted to the COVID-19 isolation facilities.
“We had 107 new admissions in the last 24hours compared to 119 the previous day. Among those currently admitted, 536 are on Oxygen therapy and 131 are in critical condition.
He also stated that in the last 24 hours, the country recorded 7,665 dose 1 and 3,614 dose 2 AstraZeneca vaccinations bringing the cumulative number of vaccinations to date at 240,028 dose 1 vaccinations.