MINISTRY of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Dr Kennedy Malama has cautioned that the heightened political related activities are likely to fuel unprecedented increase in COVID-19 cases if there is no adherence to health guidelines.

Giving a COVID-19 update, Tuesday, Dr Malama noted that the number of COVID-19 positive individuals in communities was on the rise.

“We have continued to observe a worrisome shift in our local picture, with the number of cases and those requiring admission to our health facilities increasing steadily over the past week. Our positivity which was at around one percent for most of this month has risen to almost three percent today while our active cases have similarly increased from around 400 at the start of the month to now over 900. This is a clear indication that the number of COVID-19 positive individuals in our communities is on the rise and that the virus is actively spreading. It is clear today that the chances of one getting infected in our country is far much higher than it was weeks ago,” Dr. Malama said.

“Our communities remain pivotal in our efforts to break the chains of transmission and we therefore urge all citizens of our country to play their part and play it well and to the fullest of which key is adherence to public health guidelines. One of the high risks we face is the heightened political related activities as we progress towards elections. Unfortunately these are likely to fuel unprecedented increase in cases, admissions and deaths if there is no adherence to the prescribed public health guidance.”

Dr Malama further said the cumulative number of people who had been vaccinated for both AstraZeneca and sinopharm now stands at 138,799.

“The cumulative number of persons vaccinated now stands at 138,799 for both AstraZeneca and sinopharm. Our monitoring and evaluation teams continues to review and validate the vaccination data as we plan for the second round of vaccinations in June 2021. Of those vaccinated, 63 percent are males and 37 percent are females. We are delighted that almost 40 percent of health workers in the country have been vaccinated with first dose,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Malama revealed that 149 new confirmed cases were recorded in the last 24 hours bringing the cumulative of cases to 93,428.

“In the last 24 hours, we recorded 149 new confirmed cases out of 5,144 tests conducted. This brings the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 93,428. On an encouraging note, we did not record any new deaths in the last 24 hours. The cumulative number of Covid-19 related deaths recorded to date stands at 1,271, classified as 714 Covid deaths and 557 Covid-19 associated deaths. A total of 21 discharges were recorded from both the COVID-19 isolation facilities and home management, bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 91,221,” he said.

“There are currently 936 active cases, of whom 884 are under community management and 52 are admitted to our COVID-19 isolation facilities. We had 11 new admissions in the last 24 hours. Among those admitted, 34 are on Oxygen therapy and nine are in critical condition.”