PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has directed that Pre and Primary schools for grades one to six as well as all institutions of higher learning will re-open Monday, August 23.
And President Lungu has directed that Boarding and Day secondary schools for grades eight and 10 will also re-open on Monday, August 23.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Dr Kennedy Malama says the 4.4 million doses of Johnson and Johnson procured by government and another 129,600 doses through the COVAX facility are expected in the country in the coming weeks.
In a statement released by Secretary to the Cabinet Dr Simon Miti, Saturday, President Lungu further stated that other directives which were currently in place would be reviewed on Friday, August, 20.
“Boarding schools for Grades eight and Day secondary schools for Grades eight and 10 and Pre-schools and Primary schools for Grades one, two, three, four, five and six will now open on Monday 23rd August, 2021. Joint inspections and certification of all schools by Ministries of General Education, Health and Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit will be intensified and those found not complying will be closed. Universities, colleges and other institutions of higher learning will open on Monday 23rd August 2021. Similarly, Joint inspections and certifications will be heightened by Ministries of Higher Education, Health and Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit and institutions found not complying with the public health guidelines will be closed,” read the statement.
“His Excellency has further stated that the other directives which are currently in place will be reviewed on Friday 20th August, 2021. He has re-emphasized that these heightened measures are meant to stem further spread of COVID-19 and are informed by a careful balance between saving lives, livelihood and the economy of the country. As the situation continues to improve, other restrictions will equally be eased. His Excellency has further directed various line Ministries to ensure that inspections, monitoring and enforcement is heightened so that the country does not see a surge in COVID-19 cases.”
Meanwhile, Dr Malama said the 4.4 million doses of Johnson and Johnson procured by government were expected in the country in the coming weeks.
“The total COVID-19 vaccine doses received in the country now stands at 977,600 and we assure the nation that more vaccines will be mobilized to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all Zambians. Our cumulative usage of all the vaccines received to date now stands at 520,283 doses (53%), with an estimated wastage rate of 3.9% notwithstanding, which leaves us with 43% of our received vaccine allocation still available. We started our vaccination program on 14th April 2021 and we have certainly made good progress since then. We are grateful to the many countries who continue to support us either under the COVAX facility or indeed through bilateral partnerships,” he said.
“The 4.4 million doses of Johnson and Johnson procured by government and another 129,600 doses through the COVAX facility are expected in the country in coming weeks and the nation will be kept updated. Yesterday we received 119,200 doses of AstraZeneca donated by the UK Government through the COVAX facility. The Government of the Republic of Zambia applauds the UK Government for this gesture. The UK Government has been a long standing strategic partner to government in the health sector. The total COVID-19 vaccine doses received in the country now stand at 977,600 and we assure the nation that more vaccines will be mobilized to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all Zambians. We reiterate that vaccination is a high impact prevention measure particularly in protection against severe disease and deaths and we urge members of the public who are eligible to consider getting vaccinated especially that as a country we may experience spikes or indeed waves in coming months.”
Dr Malama announced that 211 new COVID-19 cases and six new COVID-19 related deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.
“We recorded 211 new confirmed COVID-19 cases out of 3,169 tests (7% positivity). The distribution of the new cases and within province positivity is as follows: Central 10 (6%), Copperbelt 23 (8%), Eastern 45 (7%), Luapula 26 (8%), Lusaka 17 (2%), Muchinga 21 (8%), Northern 11 (19%), North-western 31 (12%), Southern 2 (1%), and Western 25 (13%). The cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date now stands at 202,078. Six new COVID-19 related deaths were reported in the past 24 hours, from Copperbelt two, North-western two, Lusaka one, and Southern one provinces. The cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded to date now stands at 3,521 (classified as 2,643 COVID-19 deaths and 878 COVID-19 associated deaths),” Dr Malama said.
Dr Malama further added that 697 patients had been discharged in the last 24 hours.
“We discharged 697 patients (29 from facilities and 668 from community management), bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 195,370 (97% recovered). We currently have 3,187 active cases, with 2,956 (93%) under community management and 231 (7%) admitted to our COVID-19 isolation facilities. We had 25 new admissions in the last 24hours. Among those currently admitted, 151 (65%) are on Oxygen therapy and 61 (26%) are in critical condition. Even as the COVID-19 situation continues to be promising, we are all called upon to take personal and collective responsibility in preventing COVID-19 especially in adhering to the prescribed directives and the five golden rules. Many of us may get the COVID-19 infection and survive it but we will not know who among us may develop severe disease and die from COVID-19,’ said Dr Malama.