Newly appointed Minister of Health Dr. Jonas Chanda has stated that there will be no lockdown in Zambia, so as to safeguard the economy.
Speaking at his first weekly covid-19 update in Lusaka today, Dr. Chanda also announced that 14 people, aged 45 – 81 years old, have succumbed to covid-19 in the last 24 hours.
He said: “We sympathise with families and expressed our condolences. Wish for the souls of the departed to rest in eternal peace.
“COVID-19 cases, including those on hospital management and oxygen therapy, in the country are on the rise.”
And Director of Infectious Diseases at the Ministry of Health Professor Llyod Mulenga stated that vaccines the government procures will be safe for all age groups above 16 years old, but he did not reveal which vaccines the country will purchase.
Dr. Chanda also said that 235 patients are currently admitted at various health facilities countrywide with 135 on oxygen support and 16 in critical condition.
He said Lusaka has 148 patients admitted, with 116 at Levy Mwanawasa isolation center, 75 on oxygen support and 12 on oxygen support at University Teaching Hospital isolation center.
Dr. Chanda noted that 25 patients are currently being cared for across 25 districts, with Chipata General Hospital having 17 patients (four on oxygen support), Kalumbila Maryberg admitting 10 (three on oxygen support), and Livingstone Central Hospital admitting nine (six on oxygen support).
Meanwhile, Choma District admitted nine patients with eight on oxygen support, Ndola Teaching Hospital has eight admitted with seven on oxygen support, and Kitwe has six patients admitted with four on oxygen support.
“In the last 24 hours, 1,343 new cases were detected out of 11,302 tests done,” Dr. Chanda said. .
He added: “Zambia continues to record a good recovery rate which is a good message for the country – a total 494 patients have recovered in the last 24 hours with Lusaka recording 256, Western province 102, Southern Province 61, among others.
“COVID-19 cannot be fought by Ministry of Health alone – it is happening in communities and citizens must take personal responsibility.”
The Minister of Health also stated that a consultative meeting will be held tomorrow to look at Zambia’s response to covid-19 and review implementation of presidential directives, as well as reviewing interventions and actions in the midst of increasing cases.
They will address matters such as the opening of schools, public sensitisation and enforcement of public health measures among members of the community and in public places.