MINISTER of Health Dr Chitalu Chilufya has announced that the country has recorded 142 new COVID-19 cases and has named Southern Province as the new hotspot.

Speaking during the daily briefing, Tuesday, Dr Chilufya said Southern Province now had 18 cases, most of whom were truck drivers.

He said cumulatively, Zambia was now just a few cases to the 10,000 mark.

“In the last 24 hours, Zambia recorded 142 new cases of COVID-19 out of 794 tests done and therefore, this brings the number of cumulative cases to 9,981 cases, just short of the 10,000 mark. The 142 cases again are coming from mainly Lusaka and the Copperbelt and also North-Western Province. Southern Province has become worrisome and today, Southern province is recording 18 patients in admission and a lot of these are truck drivers. We continue to see health workers contracting COVID-19 and we recorded 12 healthcare workers in Lusaka with covid. Currently, we have 73 patients that are admitted to Levy isolation centre and 38 of these are actually on oxygen. Out of these, eight are in intensive care unit and this again shows that the sicker patients that we are receiving are on the increase,” said Dr Chilufya.

“If you look at the countrywide picture, another 53 patients that is in addition to the 73 patients admitted to various isolation facilities in the country. Like I said, Southern Province, standing out with 18 patients and North-western with four, Central three, Northern three and Copperbelt our epicentre having 27 cases. The number of deaths remains at 264 as we did not record any deaths in the last 24 hours. We have discharged 201 patients and therefore the cumulative recoveries now stand at 8,776 cases.”

Dr Chilufya said COVID-19 was affecting the pancreas and urged hypertensive and diabetic patients to avoid self-medication and ensure they report to the health facilities when they fall ill.