Health Minister Dr Jonas Chanda says Zambia has in the last 24 hours recorded 1,531 new COVID-19 cases out of 8,749 tests done, with nine mortalities.

And Dr Chanda has announced a new addition to the Isolation Center, the Maina Soko Military Hospital, which will admit moderate to less critical patients.

In a ministerial statement on COVID-19 in the country, Sunday, Dr Chanda stated that a total of 1,053 people were due for discharge, Sunday, bringing the cumulative recoveries to 26,159.

He however, added that 305 cases were in admission with 206 on oxygen therapy.

“Zambia has confirmed 1,531 new COVID-19 cases out of 8,749 tests done in the last 24 hours. The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases is now 37,605. We have in admission among our healthcare facilities, 305 cases, 206 on oxygen therapy. 16 cases are critically ill. A total 1,053 people are due for discharge today bringing the cumulative recoveries to 26,159. On a sad note we recorded nine mortalities (seven in health facility and two in community) in the last 24 hours bringing the cumulative COVID-19 related deaths to 546 (209 COVID-19 deaths, 333 associated and four yet to be classified),” Dr Chanda stated.

“As the COVID-19 cases escalate in the country, characterised by increased transmissibility and severe disease requiring hospitalisation and oxygen therapy, Government is putting in all measures to ensure adequate space, equipment and staff to respond are availed. I am pleased to announce a new addition to our Isolation Center, the Maina Soko Military Hospital which will admit moderate to less critical patients. The Ministry of Health has seconded staff to work with the existing staff at the Hospital. We also have Zambia Air Force and Ministry of Health supporting this strategy. This new development brings hope to improved clinical management as we decongest the Levy Mwanawasa and UTH isolation centres, allow for efficient utilisation of oxygen and better patient outcomes.”

And Dr Chanda noted that the country’s public health security had by no doubt been shaken by COVID-19, but assured the citizens that government would ensure it remained resilient.

“Government under the capable leadership of His Excellency the President, Dr Edgar Chagwa remains committed to attaining Universal Health Coverage (UHC), leaving no one behind across the continuum of care. With a goal to become a middle income country by 2030, Zambia has on top of its agenda, safeguarding the health of its people by assuring public health security. The country’s public health security has by no doubt been shaken with the COVID-19, but I wish to assure you that Government will ensure it remains resilient,” stated Dr Chanda.

“While Government implements policies and programs to support the health and economic recovery of the country, we as countrymen and women should participate in ensuring success. With regards to the COVID19, we all have a major role to play in preventing further transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. The five bullets wrapped in the five golden rules have been availed to us: 1 Mandatory mask up in public; 2 Maintain physical distance; 3 Wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer; 4 Avoid crowded places and stay at home; 5 Seek medical attention early if symptomatic. It’s is important to understand that all five rules must be followed in combination to effectively prevent the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.”