HEALTH Minister Dr Jonas Chanda says despite the current delivery delays from the Serum Institute of India under the COVAX facility, which will see the deliveries of the vaccines sometime around April/May, government is pursuing other avenues to bring in the vaccines sooner.
And Dr Chanda says the country has recorded 140 new COVID-19 cases and no deaths.
In a statement, Dr Chanda announced that the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines into Zambia had been delayed due to challenges with the Indian-based supplier under the COVAX facility.
He, however, added that government was working to ensure speedy arrival of the much-needed COVID-19 vaccine for citizens to be vaccinated as soon as they landed into the country.
“Despite the current delivery delays from the Serum Institute of India under the COVAX facility, which will see the deliveries of the vaccines sometime around April/May, government is pursuing other avenues to bring in the vaccines sooner through the other Vaccine pillars I referred to yesterday (Sunday), provided they meet the safety and efficacy criteria as determined by the WHO and local regulatory agency, ZAMRA. As previously stated, the first pillar under COVAX will provide coverage for 20 per cent of our eligible population (those aged 18 years and older), while the other two pillars comprising vaccine diplomacy channels as well as government and private sector financed acquisition, will provide coverage for the remainder of our eligible and priority groups from the basket of vaccines,” Dr Chanda said in a statement, Monday.
“As a listening government, however, it is our duty to diligently address all the concerns of our people and these will be adequately addressed in our detailed Communication Strategy, which will also look at the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) around the vaccines. It is our sincere hope that with continual community engagement, we will be able to reach common grounds and provide our people with the necessary information and assurance on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines choices in our approved basket which will protect people’s lives. We wish to emphasise that the Vaccination Programme will be carried out in a cautionary, voluntary, phased manner targeting priority groups, with dedicated pharmacovigilance systems in place to monitor the roll-out.”
And Dr Chanda said Zambia had recorded 140 new COVID-19 cases, with no deaths, bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to-date to 88,012.
“We recorded 140 new cases out of 3,393 tests conducted (four per cent per positivity). This brings the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 88,012. The new cases broken down by province are as follows: 61, Lusaka; 29, North-Western; 23, Luapula; 14, Copperbelt; five, Eastern; three, Central; three, Southern; one, Northern and one, Western; there were no new cases reported from Muchinga. The province with the highest positivity rate was North-Western (15 per cent), while Central, Southern and Western had the lowest positivity (one per cent),” stated Dr Chanda.
“There were zero or no new deaths recorded from the provinces in the last 24 hours. The cumulative number of COVID-19-related deaths recorded remains at 1,200, classified as 667 COVID deaths and 533 COVID-19 associated deaths. A combined 117 discharges were recorded from both the COVID-19 isolation facilities and home management, bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 84,464 (96 per cent). We currently have 2,348 active cases, of whom 2,253 (96 per cent) are under community management and 95 (four per cent) are admitted to our COVID-19 isolation facilities. Among those admitted, 80 (84 per cent) are on oxygen therapy and 16 (17 per cent) are in critical condition.”