ZAMBIA has recorded 178 new cases of COVID-19 and two deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the cumulative total number of confirmed cases to 3,326 and 128 deaths.
And Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya says Mwansabombwe PF member of parliament Rodgers Mwewa died as a result of COVID-19, among other health complications.
Meanwhile, Zamtel Head Office and FNB Makeni branch have closed after staff members tested positive for the virus.
Speaking at a press briefing in Lusaka, Monday, Dr Chilufya said the country had in the last 24 hours recorded 178 new cases and two deaths.
“In the last 24 hours, we have confirmed 178 new COVID-19 cases, out of 959 tests done bringing the cumulative number of cases to 3, 326. The new cases include 104 that were screened in our health care facilities, 97 were in Lusaka, four in Ndola, one in Mufulira, one in Chililabombwe, and one in Chingola,” Dr Chilufya said.
“Thirty-Five (35 cases) were contacts to known cases and these include 19 from Lusaka, six from Lufwanyama, four from Mufulira, two from Mpongwe, two from Chipata, one from Ndola, and one from Kitwe. 29 were done out of the routine screening, 22 in Lusaka, five in Ndola, one in Mufulira and one in Chililabombwe. And six were health care workers, four from Kalulushi, and two from Lusaka. Four track drivers tested positive in Lusaka.”
Dr Chilufya said the cumulative number of deaths now stands at 128.
“In terms of the deaths, we have recorded 128 deaths in whom COVID-19 was isolated. This follows two more deaths from Levy Mwanawasa isolation centers and UTH. The cumulative number of deaths classified according to World Health Organization guidelines is as follows; 28 COVID deaths, 92 COVID associated deaths, and eight (08) are being revealed pending classification,” he said.
He said 17 patients are on oxygen support while five are in critical condition.
“In admission, we now have 61 patients. 17 patients at Levy on Oxygen support and five are in critical condition. We have discharged 123 cases bringing the cumulative number of discharges to 1, 620,” Dr Chilufya said.
Meanwhile, Dr Chilufya said Mwewa was swabbed after passing on and the results came out positive for COVID-19.
“Today, we sadly report the death of another member of parliament Honorable Rodger Mwewa, member of parliament for Mwansabombwe who succumbed at Levy Mwanawasa Hospital on Saturday and details have been availed as they have been adduced. Honorable Mwewa died out of complications that he had. He was hypertensive and diabetic and he did develop COVID. The results for COVID-19 only came out after he died. He was swabbed the same day that he passed on,” he said.
And Dr Chilufya said there is an expected rise in COVID-19 cases.
“Today, Zambia reports a dangerous increase in cases and a dangerous surge in the number of cases in our communities. The geographical spread is now countrywide and we have seen a drastic rise in both the number of cases and a number of deaths. This is a call to action for all to adhere to the public health and social measures that the government has put in place. I bear the message from His Excellency President Lungu to all of us that we will only defeat COVID-19 with collective action,” he said.
“We should at individual level and collective level adhere to the measures that will help us bring COVID-19 under control. COVID-19 has disrupted many ears of our livelihoods and it is important that we bring it under control…with the cold weather that we are experiencing today, we will see a surge in cases. This was anticipated. We will continue to see a surge in July, and in August. But we can stop the trend, we can minimize the impact, we can stop community trend with collective action.”
Meanwhile, ZICTA director general Patrick Mutimushi said the authority would now be operating under strict guidelines after one of its staff members tested positive for the virus,.
“The Zambia Information and Technology Authority (ZICTA) wishes to inform the general public that a member of staff who works from the Head office in Lusaka has tested positive to COVID-19. In order to manage the current situation and curb the further spread of the virus, the authority will continue to operate under the strict guidelines as recommended by the Ministry of Health and health authorities. We therefore, advise members of the general public and our stakeholders to use digital platforms as well as our toll free line (7070) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) as they lodge their complaints and further engage with the authority,” Mutimushi stated.
And Zamtel head of corporate affairs and government relations Reuben Kamanga announced the closure of the Head office after one staff member also tested positive.
“Zamtel wishes to inform its customers and the general public that Management has decided to close its Head Office located at the corner of Chilubi and Church Roads in Lusaka with immediate effect until further notice. This is because one of our members of staff has tested positive for Covid-19. In the meantime, we urge our customers to visit our service centers in order to access our products and services. Customers can also access our products and services using our online and self-help platforms. We urge customers to adhere to all health guidelines as they visit the service centers,” Kamanga stated.
FNB Zambia equally closed its Makeni branch after one of its members of staff tested positive for COVID-19.
“FNB Zambia can confirm that there has been a case of COVID-19 at Makeni Branch. The Bank has notified the relevant health authorities regarding the developments and the branch in question has been closed. We have put in all the necessary precautionary health and safety measures in place to ensure the health and safety of our customers, staff, and vendors. We also recommend that use our digital channels including the FNB App, mobile online banking to transact and use hand sanitizer or wash your hands if you need to use an ATM,” stated the bank.