The Ministry of Health has announced that Zambia will receive COVID-19 vaccines in the first quarter of 2021.
Speaking at the COVID-19 weekly update on Wednesday, Director of Infectious Diseases hospital Professor Lloyd Mulenga stated that the Ministry will only choose a combination of vaccines that will keep citizens safe.
Professor Mulenga also added that the government is working on taking vaccines where they are needed and strategizing over which populations need the vaccine the most.
“We are working on having 20% of the population vaccinated,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health Dr. Chitalu Chilufya says Zambia could see a second wave of COVID-19, due to pandemic fatigue by citizens and complacency in observing public health guidelines such as washing hands, wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and reporting symptoms early.
“In the last 7 days, from the time we gave the last update, we have seen a steady but gradual rise in cases of COVID-19, we have recorded 255 cases. This reminds us that COVID-19 is still with us and we have seen the epicentre shift to Southern province.” he said.
“Teams from the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNHPHI) have been dispatched in all provinces to reinforce provincial teams and prepare them for a possible second wave.”
Dr. Chilufya also stated that the second wave can be prevented if all citizens wear masks.
The Health Minister commended the church for ensuring that all citizens adhere to public health guidelines as most churches are strict and ensure that they conduct short worship services.
“We are in the rainy season and there is also a possibility of an upsurge in waterborne diseases including cholera if we do not up our sanitation,” he said.
He further urged all citizens to keep environments clean, drink clean and safe water, and ensure all meals are cooked well to avoid cholera.
Meanwhile, he announced yesterday that the country has recorded 69 new cases out of 4,168 tests done with the highest cases recorded from Southern province.
Professor Mulenga says 5 patients are currently admitted at Levy Mwanawasa Teaching Hospital with 2 in critical condition while the University Teaching hospital, Ndola, Solwezi and Livingstone have 1 person admitted respectively.
He expressed concern about the patients who are presenting to health facilities with severe illness and urged citizens to visit health facilities early if they develop symptoms.
According to the covid-19 dashboard, today Zambia has recorded 18 new cases out of 4724 tests done, 0 deaths and 24 recoveries.
The country currently has 17,553 total cases, 16 779 total recoveries,357 total deaths and 417 active cases.