HEALTH Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya says over one thousand people have been discharged from isolation facilities after undergoing the 14 days mandatory quarantine and that the country recorded no new case of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.

And Dr Chilufya has directed the distribution of donations, including masks, that the ministry has received to high density areas.

Speaking during the daily COVID-19 update, Saturday, Dr Chilufya said all patients that were under isolation remained stable.

“In the last 24 hours, Zambia has not recorded a single case of the laboratory confirmed COVID-19. The total number of cases therefore remains at 39 and that includes one death. All patients that are under isolation remain stable. The two cases that posted their first negative tests posted another negative test today and have been discharged. The first two cases have been discharged from the isolation facility and have been classified as recovered. Of the 5,622 cases classified as high risk to travel, we have continued to monitor closely and for now we have 1,526 people that have successfully completed the 14 day mandatory quarantine. Further the number of alerts that had been notified and cleared as non-cases has risen to 258 and we urge the public to continue being alert and report any suspects to our rapid response team for action. We now have 36 in admission,” Dr Chilufya said.

He said over 2 million people had recovered from the disease globally.

“Globally, an accumulative total of 1,15,877 cases including 53,218 deaths have been recorded today 7:00. A total of 2,12,993 individuals have recovered from the disease. Coming closer to home in Africa, 7,448 have been recorded in total with 301 deaths. The number of countries affected in Africa stands at 51. In Zambia, we are privileged to be the collaborating centre for the Africa Centre for Disease Control for SADC region and we also note therefore that under the Africa regional collaborating centre, we have recorded 1,601 cases of COVID-19 of which 13 are deceased. That is in the Africa CDC,” Dr Chilufya explained.

He said President Edgar Lungu emphasised a coordinated mechanism amongst key ministries to put together supportive strategies to ensure that the economy was stable.

“To facilitate the smooth running of economic activities and critical services while securing public health, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu has continued to emphasise and to execute the high coordinated mechanism amongst Ministry of Home Affairs, Energy, Transport and Communications to put together supportive strategies to ensure that the economy runs while we avert the health catastrophe. Therefore, the importation of essential services including food, medicine and fuel continues,” he said.

“Other measures are being instituted to minimise risk of importation of COVID-19 into the country. We continue to collaborate as the Ministries and add guidance by the Head of State to ensure that there is smooth flow of traffic at our boarders. And as we speak, our technical teams are working hard to ensure that we decongest any boarder post. So we are working hard to ensure traffic is flowing in Livingstone and Kazungula and also in Kasumbalesa and we will be reporting on progress in our next update tomorrow,”

Dr Chilufya said the money donated by stakeholders would be put to good use.

“I am directing that the colleagues of ours who are receiving various donations now start distributing these donations to high density areas in the markets, in the bus stations, in the compound through the existing structures under community development, through the existing structures in the various business groups so that our people can access these masks that are being contributed by goodwill ambassadors. Let us ensure that these masks get to the people and everything that we are procuring we would like to assure you either from the resources that government has set aside in the Contingency Fund, or from the goodwill of the cooperate world we will ensure that through the existing structures, the common man benefits from these masks,” Dr Chilufya said.

“And all those receiving donations I emphasise these monies will be utilised to procure personal protective equipment, these monies will be utilised to facilitate surveillance testing, facilitate risk communication, and facilitate operationalisation of isolation facilities. Ensure that fuel and other logistics are available for us to do field work and just to ensure that all pressing management matters are taken care of.”

He said if the members of the public exhibited civic responsibility the country would combat the disease.

“We have also put in place hand washing facilities at all points of entry and along the way, we have set up stops where disinfection is being done regularly. I wish to emphasise that the Presidential directive to quarantine people who are coming in the country for 14 days remains mandatory and in force it is a critical measure in order for us to avoid importation of COVID-19. If we continue to exhibit civic responsibility, and we adhere to the measures, we will be able to shout victory very soon. Let us heed to the call to stay home, let us heed to the call to wash hands. Let us ensure we clean our environments. Let us not hand shake, Let us wear masks. This weekend, our health inspectors, our enforcers of the law will be active to ensure that no one breaches the guidelines that are in the Public Health Act, that are in the Statutory Instrument that are being signed and that are above all in the presidential directive,” advised Dr Chilufya.