MINISTER of Health Dr Chitalu Chilufya says government will use this period in which the country is recording low COVID-19 positive cases to improve the health system’s resilience ahead of the anticipated second wave of the pandemic.

Speaking during the weekly COVID-19 update, Wednesday, Dr Chilufya said the rapid response teams would also be trained in case management and not just case prevention.

“The window where we have less cases in the country will give us an opportunity to train and retrain response teams so that every district shall have a rapid response team that not only work on preventive measures, but also to manage cases in the event that we have any popups in the country,” Dr Chilufya said.

“Countries worldwide, including some on the African continent are experiencing a second wave of COVID-19, increased sick was and death in the communities. There is therefore need for Zambia to improve and build an effective rapid response team focusing on find, test, treat, isolate and support. This is if we have to prevent a second wave of infections.”

He added that the frequency of updates would depend on the what was happening on the ground.

“We have noticed a general downward trend and we have resolved to updating the nation once a week and this shall be so unless it is indicated for us to switch to either less frequency or more frequency of updates and all these shall be informed by what we see as prevailing on the ground,” he said.

“To ensure that we don’t get a second wave which by epidemiological modeling is feared to be for December and January and that is related to what is going on in the region and also in Europe, Asia and America.”

He, however, announced that the country in the last 24 hours recorded 39 new cases out of 4,018 tests done.

“We continue to see low positivity and in the last 24 hours, Zambia recorded 39 new cases of COVID-19 out of total number of tests 4,018. The cumulative number of cases has gone to 17,036. The 39 cases are coming from the epicentres of Lusaka, Copperbelt and Northwestern Province and therefore we have seen cases in Kitwe, Ndola, Mufulira, Luanshya, and we have seen pop ups in Kasama and Livingstone. Countrywide, review of admissions in our various covid facilities we have five patients, two of which are on oxygen support and we have discharged 51 persons from the various facilities bringing the total number of cases discharged to 15,070,” said Dr Chilufya.