HEALTH Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya says medical teams will reinvestigate and trace all contacts of the four new recorded cases of COVID-19 in the country.

Speaking during the daily COVID-19 updates, Friday, Dr Chilufya said Zambia had conducted 188 tests in the last 24 hours.

“In the last 24 hours, Zambia conducted 188 tests and out of these tests four new laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases have been picked out. These four cases bring the total number of cases for COVID-19 to 52. The cumulative number of cases therefore is 52 and if we were to unzip and describe the new cases that we have received; we have a 56-year-old man of Kafue who was identified from the community screening yesterday. We also have a 10-year-old girl of Kabwe who presented at Mahatma Gandhi clinic with an acute respiratory illness and because of the high index of suspicion from our staff, he was swabbed and that patient was found to be COVID-19 positive. The epistemology link for this child is a family that traveled from Lusaka, Marapodi in particular that went to visit this family where the 10-year-old child was in Kabwe amongst the visitors there was a child who had a flu and fever but they interacted and played the whole morning, the whole afternoon a few days later that 10-year-old developed a fever and today this child is one of the COVID-19 victims,” Dr Chilufya said.

“The third case is 40-year-old female linked to the female picked out yesterday from Kafue staying in the same household after contact tracing, this patient was found to be positive. The fourth, is a 19-year-old female who was admitted to Chilenje clinic from Bauleni and this patient has tested COVID-19 positive. This patient came in with severe respiratory distress and as we were managing the patient, we did swab. Like I announced two days ago, hospital surveillance has been up scaled. Every patient who comes to the facility with a fever a respiratory symptoms at any of our facilities will be treated as a suspect, this is how the 10-year-child in Kabwe has been picked and this is how a 19-year-female has been picked.”

Dr Chilufya said the 16 patients under isolation facilities remained stable.

“In line with our standard practice, teams have been deployed to further reinvestigate these new cases and to screen all their contacts and all the patients have been moved to isolation facilities. Therefore, this brings the total number of patients under our care to 20, the other 16 patients remain stable and are recuperating well from our various isolation facilities, 30 recoveries and two deaths,” he said.

Dr Chilufya said over 700 tests had been conducted in Kafue and results would be announced today.

“Extensive community screening in Kafue has continued and we continue to pick up cases where we swab and take samples to the laboratory and await results. In Kafue, on day one, we did rapid screening, rapid test for 1,200 on day two, we went straight swabbing and we were doing PCR based testing. We are only reporting on the confirmatory tests that are PCR based. A number of samples have been collected in Kafue and are being finalized. And as of yesterday, we did collect 700 swabs just in Kafue. Results shall be announced as the processing continue. We will continue with our daily surveillance in Kafue, in Lusaka and countrywide and we will continue the need for us to work together and for us to isolate these cases quickly, put them aside and ensure that we do not allow human to human transmission. As we finish our mass screening in Kafue, we will soon be moving into specific areas in Lusaka to conduct mass screening,” Dr Chilufya said.

Dr Chilufya said Africa had over 900 deaths.

“Globally, we have a total of 2,183,148 cases with a death toll of 146,841 we are consoled that 547,679.In Africa we have now reached 19,068 cases and 969 deaths. In SADC we have2,794 cases with 59 deaths,” said Dr Chilufya.