By Brightwell Chabusha
Zambia has recorded 27 COVID-19 deaths and 1,338 new cases in the last 24 hours.
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Technical Services Dr Kennedy Malama has announced Monday morning.
“In the last 24 hours, we recorded One Thousand Three Hundred and Eighty-Eight (1,388) new confirmed cases out of 7,110 tests conducted (19.5% positivity), bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 113,134. We recorded Twenty-Seven (27) new deaths in the last 24 hours. This is the second highest figure we have recorded since the start of pandemic over a year ago. The breakdown of the new deaths by facility is as follows: Levy Mwanawasa (7), Maina Soko (4), UTH (3), Fairview (1), Chipata First Level (1), Kanyama First Level (1), Chawama First Level (1), Kabwe Bwacha (1), Kitwe (2), Ronald Ross (1), Lumezi (1), Isoka (1), Livingstone (1), Choma (1) and Sesheke (1),” Dr. Malama stated.
“Of the new deaths, 24 have been classified as COVID-19 deaths and 3 as COVID-19 associated deaths. The cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded to date now stands at 1,416 (classified as 815 COVID deaths and 601 COVID-19 associated deaths. A total of 1,238 discharges were made from both the COVID-19 isolation facilities and home management, which brings the cumulative number of recoveries to 98,994 (88% recovered). There are currently 12,724 active cases, of whom 12,060 (95%) are under community management and 664 (5%) are admitted to our COVID-19 isolation facilities. Of the admissions, 154 were newly admitted patients within the last 24 hours. Among those currently under admission, 442 are on Oxygen therapy and 105 are in critical condition.”
He said the current COVID-19 situation was predicted based on past experiences and the global scenario.
” While we foresaw the third wave months ago, many members of the public continued to flout the prescribed public health measures. Unfortunately, even those who were careful and averse to participating in risky activities including super spreader events have been infected or affected, a clear indication that when one of us is not safe, we are all unsafe,” Dr Malama said. “Within just 3 weeks since the onset of the third wave, our health care system has been overwhelmed with increased admissions, very sick patients and deaths. This situation is being seen from the primary health care level to our tertiary institutions. At the peak of the second wave our total in-patients due to COVID 19 stood at 520, while today just three weeks into the third wave, we report 664 patients.”
He said members of the public should expect restrictions and a lockdown to be effected to stem the COVID-19 infections.
Dr. Malama said Government is seriously considering imposing these restrictions at the rate the country is progressing.
“Striking a balance between saving lives, livelihoods, schools and the economy remains our top priority but we will not allow a situation where people continue flouting the public health guidelines leading to spiral of COVID 19 infections. We urge the enforcement wings within the COVID 19 multisectoral response to ramp up the interventions at community level through effective engagement and participation of various stakeholders,” Dr Malama said.
“It is disheartening and quite disappointing to note that there are still those among us who would rather propagate misinformation and have the public believe that the numbers being reported are inflated. We urge the public to consider such individuals and groups as enemies of the people and their messages should be dismissed with contempt.”