MINISTRY of Health head of infectious diseases Professor Lloyd Mulenga says Zambia has recorded eight new COVID-19 cases from 521 tests done in the last 24 hours.

And Prof Mulenga says some patients who were isolated at Nakonde District Hospital have been released and placed in home-based isolation centres.

Meanwhile, Prof Mulenga says the country is expecting close to 226 returning Zambians from South Africa and India who will be under mandatory quarantine.

Speaking at the daily COVID-19 briefing, Monday, Prof Mulenga said the eight cases comprised of three from Lusaka, two from Ndola and three from Solwezi.

He said out of the eight cases, three were health care workers while the rest where contacts to known cases.

“We did 521 tests from the UTH laboratories and the Ndola laboratories including the Chinsali [laboratory] where the testing has started. And from those, we are reporting eight new cases. These eight new cases we have three from Lusaka; one is a 46-year-old health worker from UTH; another one is a 31-year-old who is a contact to a known case; and we also have an adult woman who was detected through the routine screening. From the Copperbelt, we have recorded five; these five one of them is a female health worker from Ndola Teaching Hospital and we have a 23-year-old who is a contact to a known case,” Prof Mulenga said.

“And from Solwezi, we have detected three more cases; these three involve a 23-year-old man who was detected through our routine screening and a 48-year-old woman from Solwezi who is a contact to a known case; a third case from Solwezi is a 25-year-old male health worker. We are glad to report four discharges from the Levy Mwanawasa medical isolation centre.”

And Prof Mulenga said a number of patients who were being quarantined at the Nakonde District Hospital had been released and confined to home isolation facilities.

“We have continued also the supervising home isolation system which we have implemented in Nakonde. As we speak, we have more than 100 community health workers who are working with a dedicated team of 50 case managers to follow up those who are in these dedicated isolation facilities who are in their homes. And also, we have about 96 in the Chinsali facility. And also, we are glad to report that a number of them who were in Nakonde District Hospital have also been released in these home isolation facilities,” Prof Mulenga said.

“Today, we have cumulatively now come to 761 cases this includes seven deaths, 192 recoveries and we have 566 active cases. As from today, we have been following up 4,309 persons who are at high risk and these have completed successfully the follow up period and also, we have 2,155 alerts which been notified. And the cases we announced yesterday (Sunday) it may have come through to some individuals as though these cases where all from UTH as a facility. They were tested from the UTH labs; so, the individuals are not from UTH facility, there are just a number of people from Chilanga, Emmasdale, from Rhodespark as well but the testing facility was the UTH labs.”

Meanwhile, Prof Mulenga said the country was expecting about 226 returning Zambians from South Africa and India.

“The response team has moved in Chirundu and as you know, Chirundu is one border town which is close to the response because of the number of drivers that have been passing through Chirundu just like Nakonde. As we are speaking, communication is taking place and also, we have strong community engagement which is taking place in Chirundu. Similarly, we are going to see this taking place in other border towns on the Copperbelt and also in Livingstone so that we don’t have imported cases entering the country,” said Prof Mulenga.

“We also have a number of Zambians and non Zambians entering the country in the next coming days, those that are returning we have 106 from South Africa and 116 from India. These individuals are going to be quarantined as a procedure according to what we have set in place in 14 days. And those of our friends who are transitioning to Malawi, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe will be released after 14 days depending on the results.”