MINISTRY of Health permanent secretary-technical services Dr Kennedy Malama has announced that UNICEF with support from Sweden and other donors, has agreed to support the procurement of the new Oxygen Plant for the Copperbelt province which will be located at Kitwe Teaching Hospital.
And Dr Malama has announced that the country has recorded 244 new COVID-19 cases out of 6,248 tests conducted with three deaths in the last 24 hours.
Speaking during the COVID-19 update, Dr Malama said UNICEF had also procured 310 Oxygen Cylinders which arrived in the country over the weekend.
“This morning the Ministry of Health held a successful meeting with the United Nations agencies, UNICEF and WHO. As a sign of confidence in the government’s Covid-19 response strategy, UNICEF, with support from Sweden and other donors, has agreed to support the procurement of the new Oxygen Plant for the Copperbelt province which will be located at Kitwe Teaching Hospital. This strategic investment towards the Covid-19 response will benefit 3 million people on the Copperbelt province. In addition, UNICEF has also procured 310 Oxygen Cylinders which arrived in the country over the weekend, and has also procured 3,000 interagency health centre kits with support from Sweden, Germany and the United Kingdom, while 1,700 kits are in the pipeline. WHO is also in the process of procuring personal protective equipment (PPEs) worth US$1.5 million,” he said.
He added that the Ministry has started scaling down the number of health workers in isolation centres following a reduction in positivity and hospital admissions.
“Following the continual and gratifying reduction in our test positivity and hospital admissions, we have begun to gradually scale down on the numbers of staff stationed in our COVID-19 isolation centres. This will give these heroic men and women that have fought on the frontlines some much needed respite and allow us to strengthen our health service delivery with regard to our other disease burdens. We remain committed to providing all our staff with onsite mentorship and virtual trainings for sustained capacity building. We wish to commend the many heroes in our communities who have made it their personal responsibility to ensure adherence to the public health guidance. The victory scored with our reduced positivity and community transmission could not have been achieved without your gallant and sustained efforts, even in the face of resistance and fatigue. As we head into the cold season with the imminent threat of a third wave, we implore you all not to tire in your efforts. We must sustain community adherence and continue to enhance behaviour change if we are to avert a third wave,” he added.
And Dr Malama announced that Eastern Province recorded the highest positivity with 49 cases.
“We recorded 244 new cases out of 6,248 tests conducted (4 percent positivity). This brings the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 86,779. The new cases broken down by province are as follows: 49 Eastern, 46 North-western, 40 Lusaka, 34 Copperbelt, 29 Luapula, 27 Northern, seven Central, seven Southern, four Muchinga, and one Western. Of the 244 positive samples, 187 were collected within the last 24-72 hours whereas 57 were older than 72 hours. The province with the highest positivity rate was Eastern (11 percent) while Southern (one percent) and Western (0.2 percent) had the lowest positivity,” said Dr Malama.
“Three (3) new deaths were recorded from Eastern (one), Muchinga (one) and North-western (one) provinces. The cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded now stands at 1,185, classified as 654 COVID deaths and 531 COVID-19 associated deaths. A combined 159 discharges were recorded from both the COVID-19 isolation facilities and home management, bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 83,478 (96 percent). We currently have 2,116 active cases, of whom 2,000 (95 percent) are under community management and 116 (5 percent) are admitted to our COVID-19 isolation facilities. Among those admitted, 83 (72 percent) are on Oxygen therapy and 25 (22 percent) are in critical condition.”