MINISTER of Health Dr Jonas Chanda says the country has recorded 86 positive COVID-19 cases, which is the lowest number since 21st December, 2020.

In a statement Dr Chanda stated that the country has seen a major reduction of cases since the onset of the second wave, but urged members of the public to maintain public health guidelines.

“We have seen a major reduction in our test positivity since the onset of the second wave; however, we remain on high alert as we head into the cold months of June/July to avert an escalation in the case numbers. Today marks a key milestone in our efforts to flatten the curve as we record fewer than hundred new cases for the first time since 21st December, 2020. We have invested heavily in essential commodities and human resource training and capacity building; procurement of testing reagents and supplies that will ensure commodity security and sustained tested for the response. Our clinical management teams continue to carry out onsite mentorship both for our COVID-19 clinical teams and those attending to other disease burdens,” he stated.

He added that surveillance efforts will continue as the school term winds down.

“As the school term winds down, our surveillance efforts will not wane as we remain committed to maintaining a safe environment for our children (learners) and teachers. We wish to appeal to parents to continue reinforcing the COVID-19 safety messages around correctly and consistently using face masks, maintenance of hand hygiene, avoiding crowding and staying home, and physical distancing,” he stated.

And the Minister announced that the country has recorded 86 news COVID-19 cases out of 4,098 tests conducted and three deaths in the last 24 hours.

“We recorded 86 new cases out of 4,098 tests conducted (2% positivity). This brings the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 86,535. The new cases broken down by province are as follows: 21 Copperbelt, 18 Luapula, 17 Lusaka, 12 Central, eight Eastern, four North-western, four Southern, one Northern, and one Western. Of the 86 positive samples, 76 were collected within the last 24-72 hours whereas 10 were older than 72 hours. The province with the highest positivity rate was Luapula (11 percent) while Southern (one percent), Lusaka (one percent) and Western (one [percent) had the lowest positivity; with no new cases reported from Muchinga. Three new deaths were recorded from Lusaka (2) and Eastern (1) provinces. The cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded now stands at 1,182, classified as 651 COVID deaths and 531 COVID-19 associated deaths,” stated Dr Chanda.

“A combined 61 discharges were recorded from both the COVID-19 isolation facilities and home management, bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 83,319 (96 percent). We currently have 2,034 active cases, of whom 1,910 (94 percent) are under community management and 124 (6 percent) are admitted to our COVID-19 isolation facilities. Among those admitted, 90 (73 percent) are on Oxygen therapy and 26 (21 percent) are in critical condition.”