HEALTH Minister Dr Jonas Chanda has announced that the country has recorded 1,514 new Covid-19 cases and eight deaths out of 8,598 tests conducted in the last 72 hours.

In a statement, Wednesday, Dr Chanda stated that there were currently 6,886 active cases, of which 6,464 (94%) were under community management while 422 (6%) were admitted to Covid-19 isolation facilities.

“Allow me to start my update today by thanking our hard-working teams across the country for their continued tireless and selfless hard work under difficult circumstances. We have noted the progress being made in tracking cases and their contacts, a key intervention to halt community spread, and we also continue to note a reduction in the number of admissions to our isolation facilities. We acknowledge the gains made as a result of your diligent efforts and are hard-pressed to sustain these efforts to avoid any reversal in the gains made. We remain deeply concerned for the safety and wellbeing of our health workers, a number of whom we have lost to C0vid-19 (MTSRIP). We remain committed to protecting them at all costs and pledge to provide our caregivers around the country with the best possible care. We also acknowledge the need to re-focus on prevention interventions and behaviour change strategies within our communities,” Dr Chanda stated.

“It is disheartening to note that almost one year into the pandemic, a simple measure such as correct and consistent use of facemasks, in addition to our other golden rules. is still being met with poor adherence and flagrant disregard by the public. We are revisiting our models to determine how best we can improve adherence by the public. Additionally, we continue with our surveillance of schools and learning institutions. We will not let our guard down: reports will continue to be received periodically from districts and provinces on the status of adherence to the guidelines. Any schools and institutions found wanting in this regard will be closed pending rectification of the prescribed measures. pandemic rages on, we remain conscious of the suppy chain challenges being faced the world over, challenges which have affected our effort too. We are keeping a closed eye on our commodities supply chain and doing everything in our power to ensure an uninterrupted supply of essential commodities both for the resposnse and the routine service delivery. I want to thank our cooperating partners who have been very supportive of Zambia’s Covid-19 response.”

He said that the number of deaths had reduced to a record low in the last two weeks.

“In the last 24 hours, we conducted 8,598 tests One Thousand Five Hundred and fourteen (1, 514) new cases. Of the samples that tested Covid-19 Positive were collected within the last 24-72 hours. whereas 475 were older than 72 hours. The breakdown of the new cases by province is as follows: 392 Lusaka, 301 Copperbelt, 187 Eastern, 156 Southern, 123 North-western, 91 Muchinga, 89 Central, 75 Luapula, 67 Northern, and 34 Western. This brings the cumulative total number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 59,003. We continue to note an encouraging reduction in the number of mortalities recorded daily. In the post 24 hours, we recorded eight (8) new deaths, the lowest mortality figure reported in the past two weeks. The deaths were reported from the Copperbelt four, Eastern one, Lusaka one, Northern one and Southern one. The cumulative number of Covid-9 related deaths recorded to date now stands at 812. classified as 369 Covid-19 deaths; 414 as Covid-19 associated deaths: and 29 deaths are pending classification. We have recorded an additional 626 discharges, bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 51,305. this represents a very reassuring recovery rate of close to 905. We see trends of reducing numbers of patients in health facilities,” stated Dr Chanda.

“I wish to reiterate that there should be no stigma attached to testing positive for Covid-19, Even with no cure presently available, Covid-19 is manageable, win only approximately 6% of our cases requiring hospitalization. We continue to encourage our citizens to present to the facilities early for lent management by our expert clinical teams. For those under community management, we encourage the safe use of trusted home remedies including steaming (Ukufutikila), a healthy diet of vegetables, plenty of fluid intake, light exercise and rest. Note however that if you are under are under home management and become symptomatic. Please see medical care early. Currently, we have 6, 886 active cases, of which 6,464 (94%) are under Community management and 422 (6%) are currently admitted to our Covid-19 isolation facilities, with 302 on Oxygen therapy and 41 in critical condition. This is in line with the Ministry’s case management strategy for covid-19. I leave you with the call to patriotic action on the part of each and every Zambian, young and old.”