MINISTER of Health Dr Jonas Chanda says the country has recorded a 60 percent reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases since the second wave began, with the four deaths recorded in the last 24 hours, the lowest daily mortality since January.

In a statement, Wednesday, Dr Chanda said it was gratifying that there was also a reduction in the number of admissions in COVID-19 isolation facilities.

“It is indeed gratifying and with profound hope that we continue to observe the reduction not only in our admissions but our daily positivity. Since the height of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in January, we have noted an almost 60 percent reduction in our daily numbers of patients admitted to Covid19 isolation centres. The mortality rate of four the past 24 hours is the lowest since the second wave started in January, 2021. However, I must reiterate that this is by no means a sign that we should let down our guard. We should instead more than ever before stay alert and follow public health guidelines,” he stated.

He announced that the country has recorded 533 new COVID-19 cases out of 6,964 tests done representing eight percent positivity.

“Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to provide you with the COVID-19 situation update for the last 24 hours. We recorded 533 new cases out of 6,964 tests conducted (8% positivity), our fourth consecutive day with a single digit daily positivity rate showing a marked reduction in productivity. The new cases were reported from the following provinces: 86 Northern, 83 Copperbelt, 72 Luapula, 62 Lusaka, 61 Muchinga, 58 Central, 55 Southern, 39 North-western, 33 Eastern, and 6 Western. This brings the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 80,090,” Dr Chanda stated.

He added that the country recorded four deaths in the last 24 hours bringing the cumulative number to 1,108.

“On a sad note, we recorded four (4) deaths from Copperbelt (2), Eastern (1) and Lusaka (l) provinces. This is the lowest mortality since onset of second wave in January. The cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded to date now stands at 1,108. The deaths are classified as 605 COVID deaths and 503 COVID-19 associated deaths,” he stated.

“We have recorded a combined total of 736 recoveries from both the COVID-19 isolation facilities and home management, bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 76,299 (95%). This recovery rate is above the Global and African average recovery rates. We currently have 2,683 active cases, of whom 2,472 (92%) are under community management and 21 1 (8%) are admitted to our COVID-19 isolation facilities. Among those hospitalised, 149 (71%) are on Oxygen therapy and 36 (17%) are in critical condition.”

And the Minister said government was committed to routine health service delivery and would ensure that gains made in fighting other health burdens are not lost.

“The Government is committed to ensuring that our frontline health workers and facilities are well equipped for the response. Additionally, we remain committed to our routine service delivery commitments and have endeavoured to ensure that the gains made in fighting our other health burdens such as infectious diseases (HIV/AIDS, TB, Cholera), Malaria, maternal and child health and non-communicable diseases (Cardiovascular diseases, Diabetes, Cancers are not lost,” stated Dr Chanda.