Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya says Zambia has recorded another six new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number to 22.

Updating the media on COVID-19, Dr Chilufya said out of the 72 contacts tested in the last 24 hours, only six tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

“Due to the diligent follow up of confirmed cases, we have been able to test all primary contacts. We have so far tested 264 suspected individuals today and we are running tests of another 25 to complete the whole tree of the contacts of the 26 who traveled to Pakistan. When we tested the next 72 contacts in the last 24 hours, six were confirmed positive; that brings our total laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases to 22. This six out of 72 shows that the number of positive cases out of the numbers we are tracking is much much smaller. As I speak today, all the 22 that under our care are stable and are being handled by our health workers,” Dr Chilufya said.

He said among the six was another Copperbelt resident who was admitted to Masaiti District Hospital, making the total number of people that tested positive in that province to two.

“Further, we note that out of the contacts that we were tracking those who were seated in close proximity with suspects that have already tested positive on the plane have been tracked and that included one of our residents in Luanshya. We have followed up that candidate in Luanshya and he tested positive and he is currently admitted at Masaiti Hospital. Furthermore, one of the people that traveled to Pakistan had contacts on the Copperbelt and also traveled to the Copperbelt has also been tracked and tested positive and he is the second admission at Masaiti Hospital,” he said.

“In a nutshell, today Zambia has a total 22 confirmed laboratory cases of COVID-19, two are admitted in Masaiti Hospital in Ndola while the 20 are being managed here in Lusaka. We have investigated many cases and out of the many cases that we have investigated, we have managed to isolate some in our isolation facilities at Tubalange and at Levy. We have managed to ensure that we have investigated all the suspected cases that were in isolation that were symptomatic and it is important to note that 12 who were symptomatic and were admitted in our special facilities and tested negative have been discharged.”

Dr Chilufya said the Ministry was still following closely over 1,300 people who traveled from high risk countries.

“It is also important to note we have followed up in excess of 3,000 travelers who have come into the country from COVID high risk countries; and 700 plus have already hit the 14 day quarantine period and being discharged from the self quarantine. We are following up close to 1,300 for any symptoms. I must state that they are cooperating very well with the quarantine rules,” said Dr Chilufya