MINISTER of Health Dr Jonas Chanda has announced that the country has recorded 219 new COVID-19 cases out of 7,465 tests done and six deaths in the last 24 hours.

In a statement, Wednesday, Dr Chanda stated that Lusaka recorded the highest number, with 56 positive cases.

“Countrymen and women, the COVID-19 situation update for the last 24 hours is as follows: We recorded 219 new cases out of 7,465 tests conducted (three percent positivity). This brings the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 88,418. The new cases broken down by province are as follows: 56 Lusaka, 47 Luapula, 26 Northern, 24 Eastern, 21 Copperbelt, 15 North-western, 13 Muchinga, 13 Southern, three Western, and one Central. Despite this continued low positivity, we are aware of the differences at provincial level, with some provinces recording daily positivity above the recommended five percent to indicate reduced community transmission. Our provincial teams are on the ground ensuring that we strengthen our community interventions and limit the numbers of congregate settings which have been shown to contribute to super spread of COVID-19,” he stated.

He stated that the country also recorded 73 discharges, with 2,618 active cases currently.

“On a sad note, there were six new deaths recorded from Copperbelt (two), North-western (two), Lusaka (one) and Eastern (one). The cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded now stands at 1,208, classified as 674 COVID deaths and 534 COVID-19 associated deaths. A combined 73 discharges were recorded from both the COVID-19 isolation facilities and home management, bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 84,592 (96 percent). We currently have 2,618 active cases, of whom 2,525 (96 percent) are under community management and 93 (four percent) are admitted to our COVID-19 isolation facilities. Among those admitted, 75 (81 percent) are on Oxygen therapy and 13 (14 percent) are in critical condition,” stated Chanda.

He further stated that the Southern Africa Regional Collaborating Centre (RCC) of the Africa CDC which is being hosted in Zambia has been launched under the theme “Ensuring effective preparedness and response to current public health threats in the context of COVID-19 and beyond”

The launch was graced by Vice-President Inonge Mutukwa Wina at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre with dignitaries virtually in attendance including the Africa CDC Director, Dr John Nkengasong, Dr Moussa Mahamat (Chairperson of the African Union Commission) and Her Excellency Amira El Fadil (Acting Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, African Union Commission).