Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Kennedy Malama says his ministry has continued to prioritise preparedness and response, in readiness for a potential fourth wave which is three months away.
Dr Malama says the preparedness is also based on experience gained this far,from the first, second and third wave.
He noted that globally, vaccination against COVID-19 has been adopted as a high impact preventive intervention, and as a country, members of the public are continuously being urged to get vaccinated.
“We reiterate our commitment to ensuring that only vaccines which are quality, safe and efficacious will be made available to our people and we will never negate this,” he stated.
The Permanent Secretary said that the ministry has today administered 3,631 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine, as well as 98 for dose 1 and 277 for dose 2 of the AstraZeneca vaccine, respectively.
And Dr Malama has announced that 179 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded out of the 7,233 tests conducted countrywide in the last 24 hours.
He indicated in a statement issued to the media in Lusaka today, that the distribution of the new cases shows that Central Province recorded four, Copperbelt, Luapula and Southern Provinces 10 each, Eastern 8, Lusaka 44, Muchinga 21, Northern 29, North-Western 25 and Western Province 18 bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 206,884.
“We recorded three new covid-19 related deaths from one from Eastern Province as well as one each from North-western and Southern Provinces, bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded to date to 3,611 classified as 2,703 covid-19 deaths and 908 COVID-19 associated deaths,” the Permanent Secretary highlighted.
Dr Malama further indicated that in the last 24 hours, 16 new admissions were recorded across the country, against 9 facility discharges.
“We also discharged 127 patients from community management, giving a total of 136 patients discharged, and bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 201, 643,” he noted.
Dr Malama added that currently the country has 1,630 active cases, with 1,531 under community management stating that of the 99 patients currently admitted to COVID-19 isolation facilities, 64 are on oxygen and 22 are in critical condition.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary said the recently recorded cases of food poisoning on the Copperbelt, and a measles outbreak in Itezhi-tezhi district are thoroughly being investigated.
Dr Malama said the ministry is also aware of other seasonal outbreaks that remain a threat at this time of the year, adding that the authority is closely monitoring the situation through the disease intelligence unit under the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI).
He has since urged members of the public and business houses to uphold high standards of hygiene and food safety including availability of safe and clean water and adequate sanitation.
“We further appeal to parents and care givers to ensure that our children are vaccinated against the various vaccine preventable diseases,” he said.