President Edgar Lungu has directed every citizen in the country to put on a mask as they leave their houses to go to public places.

And Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya says Zambia has not recorded any new case of COVID-19 as at yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Patriotic Front has donated K150,000 while PUMA Energy Zambia has donated over 20,000 litres of fuel towards the COVID-19 fight.

At his briefing yesterday, Dr Chitalu said putting on a mask was now mandatory.

He said all 16 patients under their care were all stable.

“Today (yesterday), I carry yet another directive from His Excellence the President of the Republic of Zambia as he continues to provide leadership in the charge against Covid-19. His Excellence wishes that every citizen in Zambia as you get out of your home, as you get in a public place, put on a mask. Putting on a mask is a must. Putting on a mask is going to protect you and your neighbour from getting Covid-19. Putting on a mask is mandatory. The mask I’m putting on is a homemade mask, clothe made. Let us note that you can use a mask that is made out of cloth at home and it is re-usable. So let us all be in a mask,” he said.

“Zambia in the last 24 hours has not recorded any new cases of Covid-19. Yesterday, we conducted a total of 131 tests and all the tests were negative. The number of persons in admission therefore, remains 16. 14 in Lusaka and two on the Copperbelt. All our patients in admission remain stable.”

He thanked the people of Kafue District for complying with the Presidential order and urged them to continue adhering to the laid out precautions in order to avoid COVID-19.

“Yesterday (Wednesday), the President ordered people of Kafue to stay home and authorised restriction of movement in and out of Kafue and authorised health workers to move in to do mass screening and targeted testing of Kafue residents. Let me thank the people of Kafue for complying to the Presidential order. The teams worked with the people of Kafue in a manner that was incident free. The strategic operation was successful. And out of all the tests that were done in Kafue, non came out positive,” he said.

“The exercise in Kafue district involved public sensitization, disinfection and cleaning up of public places, trading places, including markets. It [also] involved massive screening and targeted testing. As we thank the people of Kafue, we also urge them to continue adhering to the precautions that have been led out in order to avoid Covid-19. Kafue today (yesterday) has continued business as usual, all the places are being open and our teams have continued to carry out mass screening and testing. The exercise in Kafue will be concluded within the course of the week and that all the results will be delivered to all of us and that will inform next action.”

Asked for an update on the deployment of more health workers in the fight against COVID-19, Dr Chilufya said, “I am aware that our admin staff working with PSMD and cabinet office are advanced in the recruitment process and it is my expectation that people should be reporting for work within the next few days.”

Further asked on why government had decided to lockdown Kafue which had only recorded three cases, leaving out Lusaka with more cases, Dr Chilufya said Kafue was part of Lusaka Province, adding that next time they may lockdown some areas in Lusaka district.

“Kafue, the last time I did Geography, was part of Lusaka Province so we only locked down part of Lusaka Province. Next time we will be in Lusaka district itself and we may lock out a particular area and do the massive testing to ascertain the extent of the disease, so this is a strategic process that we are doing,” said Dr Chilufya.

At the same briefing, the Patriotic Front donated K150,000 and 10 commercial washing buckets while PUMA Energy Zambia donated 22,450 litres of fuel towards the COVID-19 fight.

Meanwhile, Concorde Construction also made a cash donation of K100,000, among other donations.