ZAMBIA National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) country director Professor Victor Mukonka says the country has enough capacity to test people suspected to have contracted Coronavirus.
On Tuesday, the Institute stated that there were 91 Coronavirus samples received at the University Teaching Hospital Virology Lab (UTHVL), out of which 75 were processed and three confirmed positive for COVID-19.
Sixteen (16) samples were pending as at March 22, but latest figures now indicate that 12 confirmed cases have been recorded in the country so far.
President Edgar Lungu, Wednesday, addressed the nation where he disclosed that of the 12, 11E of them had travelled abroad in recent weeks and acquired the disease from outside the country while one had come into contact with them locally.
All of them have since been quarantined, he said.
“You are all aware that, my cabinet has already approved the COVID-19 contingency plan, including its budget and directed the Ministry of Finance to mobilise resources to enable line ministries, private sector and other key stakeholders to contain and combat the spread of the Coronavirus disease in a multisectoral and coordinated manner,” said President Lungu.
And when asked if the country had enough capacity to test people for the coronavirus, Prof Mukonka responded in the affirmative.
“Yes we do. We have a World Health Organization (WHO) designated accredited laboratory, Virology, which was done by the Japanese many years ago. So it serves also for our region here. So the capacity, yes we have,” he said
When asked if there were people that were being quarantined at UTH, Prof Mukonka said “we are not quarantining anyone at UTH, we have the quarantine sites.”