MINISTRY of Health Permanent Secretary for Administration Kakulubelwa Mulalelo says the country has recorded 225 new COVID-19 cases out of 1,400 tests done in the last 24 hours.

And Malalelo says government is offering counseling services to all medical staff participating in the fight against COVID-19, saying the pandemic had stretched them to the limit.

Speaking during the daily COVID-19 briefing, Thursday, Mulalelo said the cumulative figure of COVID-19 cases currently stood at 11,601.

Mulalelo said the 225 new cases were from 13 districts, with Lusaka still recording the highest.

“In the last 24 hours, Zambia has recorded 225 new cases of COVID-19 out of 1,400 tests conducted. This brings the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in the country to 11,601 cases. The 225 cases are from 13 districts as follows: Lusaka Province as in Lusaka District 155 whilst in Chongwe district one case; in Muchinga Province we have 20 from Chinsali and eight from Mpika. In Southern Province we have 13 from Mazabuka, eight from Chikakanta, seven from Monze, five from Kalomo, three from Choma, one from Kanzungula and one from Zimba. In Eastern Province we have two new cases in Chipata, from the Copperbelt we have one new case from Ndola,” Mulalelo said.

She said 147 recoveries were recorded while 48 patients were admitted at Lusaka’s Levy Mwanawasa General Hospital.

“Currently, there are 48 patients that are admitted to Lusaka’s Levy Mwanawasa COVID-19 isolation facility and of these, 26 are on oxygen therapy, eight are under intensive care and one is on a ventilator. Outside Lusaka, there are 32 patients admitted to our isolation facilities with 10 on oxygen therapy. The cumulative number of deaths linked to COVID-19 remains at 282 all of which have been classified as follows: 91 deaths due to COVID-19, 191 deaths associated with COVID-19. 147 patients have been discharged today bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 10,840. So to date, the cumulative number of COVID-19 in the country stands at 11,601 including 282 deaths and 10,840 recoveries, with 225 cases in the last 24 hours.”

And Mulalelo said government had designed counseling services for all medical staff participating in the fight against COVID-19 saying the pandemic had stretched the health care workers to limit.

“We recognize the sacrifice that our health workers are making in this response and applaud the commitment to duty. COVID-19 has stretched the health care force to the limit and we are keenly aware of the resilience that has been demonstrated by our health care workers. This is an unprecedented outbreak not just in Zambia but globally. It therefore calls for the commitment and self sacrifice that characterises the health profession and which you have also ably demonstrated. It is our obligation to serve our people of Zambia and to maintain a health system that responds to disruptions such as the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mulalelo.

“I therefore want to reiterate government’s commitment to ensuring that the conditions under which you work are conducive for your professional output and also for your personal hygiene and safety. We shall do all we can to ensure that as we respond to COVID-19. We will provide all the logistics that are required to facilitate the conduct of your duties including adequate PPEs, appropriate accommodation for our colleagues working in the isolation facilities, transport for field teams and other incentives. Government is aware that the well being of staff includes psycho social support. To this effect counseling services have been made available to support all staff participating in the response.”