ZAMBIA has recorded 32 new COVID-19 cases in the last five days from 3,361 tests conducted.

At a COVID-19 update briefing, Monday, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary in charge of Technical Services Dr Kennedy Malama said of the 32 cases, 20 were truck drivers while 10 were from community and routine screening and two were contacts to known positives in Lusaka.

Dr Malama said a total of 133 patients were discharged from various isolation centres across the country.

“A total of 32 new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded after 3,361 tests conducted in the last five days. The cases were detected through community and point of entry screening, contact tracing and health facility surveillance. These 32 cases include: two contacts to known positives from within Lusaka, six from routine screening, comprising of Lusaka, five, Ndola, one, 20 truck drivers, four from Nakonde, four of them from Chirundu, Chipata, one, Ndola three, Livinsgstone, five, Chanida this is in Chadiza Eastern Province, two and Mwami also in Eastern Province, one. We also recorded four from community screening and all these are coming from Nakonde. We have discharged a total of 133 patients from our isolation facilities in the last five days. The cumulative figure is now 1099 for Zambia including the seven deaths we have been updating you on. We have also recorded now a total of 876 recoveries as a country. All patients remaining under isolation are in a stable condition,” Dr Malama said.

“As a country, we continue to monitor persons who are at high risk and as to date, a total 5,089 have successfully completed the 14-day mandatory quarantine. Furthermore, our response teams have cleared non cases amounting to 2,646 and these were the alerts we received. With the support of various stakeholders, we have increased the number of testing sites in our country to six.”

He said Kasumbalesa border was being given extra attention.

“The Copperbelt Province continues to record a number of cases with a wider geographical spread. Cumulative for Copperbelt, we have recorded 83 cases and these have been reported from Ndola 67, Masaiti, five, Chingola, five, Kitwe, three, Chililabombwe, two, Luanshya, one and Mpongwe, one since the outbreak started in our country. So you can see that for Copperbelt generally the spread geographically has involved far much districts compared to other parts of the country. We also face an increasing threat at Kasumbalesa, as you are aware it is one of our very busy points of entry that exist, and we need to pay particular attention to that,” he said.

“In this regard, a team of experts from Ministry of Health, Zambia National Public Health Institute is on the Copperbelt to provide technical support and on the ground execution of activities so that we can mop up Copperbelt in terms of cases which may be spreading the infections. The team is working with various structures on the Copperbelt and will focus on targeted screening and testing, community engagement and sensitization, enhanced case testing cleaning and disinfection of public places.”

He said home-based isolation had proved effective.

“The model of supervised community isolation piloted in Nakonde has proven to be reliable with good outcomes of recoveries, among those isolated at home. We continue to manage the risk groups which include the elderly, our children, those with underlying disease conditions and those with symptoms in the facilities. This our people have to take it very very clearly. The home isolation or self isolation has to be managed in conjunction with health personnel and it is the health personnel who are determining who are going to self isolate at home. We would like to appeal to our people to be adherent to this guidance. We have received some reports that some members of public are against being kept in a health facility thinking that they all need to be in self isolation,” Dr Malama said.

Meanwhile, Dr Malama said Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya and his information counterpart Dora Siliya were recovering well.

“Let me take this opportunity to wish our honorable ministers who are recovering well all the best. And we look forward to seeing them not virtually but joining the response as they have done it with passion and energy,” said Dr Malama.