HEALTH Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya says Zambia has recorded two new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 45.

And Dr Chilufya has disputed reports that a close contact to the deceased man in Kafue whose samples tested positive to COVID-19, has escaped from the quarantine centre.

At his briefing yesterday, Dr Chitalu said one of the two new cases was the daughter to the deceased Kafue man’s fiancee while the other was the wife to the Makeni man who traveled to Pakistan.

“In the last 24 hours, we conducted 123 tests and out of these 123 tests of contacts [and] alerts, we recorded two new cases. So in the last 24 hours, Zambia has recorded two new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 45. These two new cases are; the wife of the person that we diagnosed as positive yesterday (Sunday) from Makeni and the daughter of the confirmed case, that is the [supposed] spouse-to-be of the deceased man in Kafue. Kafue therefore has recorded three positive cases of COVID-19 and Kafue is on our spotlight,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Chitalu said two more people had been discharged after recovering.

“We have 13 cases under our care currently. In the last 24 hours, we have discharged two cases. We continue to observe the high risk persons that came into our jurisdiction and out of 7,422 people that are high risk that we have been observing, now we have discharged 2,241 cases from the mandatory 14-day quarantine period,” he said.

And Dr Chilufya said the 20 local contacts recorded in the country should change people’s approach in order to avoid person-to-person transmission.

“For the 45 total COVID-19 cases that we have recorded, we know that 25 had history of travel to a COVID high risk jurisdiction and we know that 20 are local contacts. That implies that we have evidence in Zambia of person-to-person transmission. That should change our approach, that should alert us to up the game and that’s why we should heed the call from the President to cooperate with government in avoiding person-to-person transmission,” he said.

“There is need for us to stay home and stay away from people who are COVID positive because all these who came into contact with the COVID positive people are potential cases.”

And Dr Chilufya disputed reports that a close contact to the deceased man in Kafue had escaped from the quarantine centre.

See attached image:

List of COVID-19 suspects who were on the same bus with the alleged escapee

He added that there was no value in running away from quarantine as the disease may progress and may cause death and could further be transmitted to other people.

Meanwhile, Dr Chilufya said all the donated resources were being used in the fight against the virus.

“Every penny that is donated is being spent on high impact interventions in the fight against COVID-19. Let us fight COVID-19 and let us avoid the paranoia of thinking that [donated] resources are being abused at this stage. There is no room for such, as every penny is required in the fight against COVID-19,” said Dr Chilufya.