MINISTRY of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Dr Kennedy Malama says North-western Province has in the past one week been a source of concern after continuing to record the highest COVID-19 positivity rate.
And Dr Malama says the elderly and those with underlying conditions have continued to be among the COVID-19 mortalities.
In a statement, Tuesday, Dr Malama said the Ministry of Health was hearted by the continued reduction in the COVID-19 positivity in the country.
“We are hearted by the continued reduction in the COVID-19 positivity in the country. We have sustained the less than 5% positivity mark in the past two weeks. Our focus is on granular tracking of the situation at Provincial and District levels for action. Northwestern Province has in the past one week been a source of concern and appropriate support in surveillance and case Management is being provided. The distribution of the new cases and positivity in Provinces is as follows: Central three (1%), Copperbelt 25 (4%), Eastern 12 (2%), Luapula 19 (4%), Lusaka 12 (1%), Muchinga 28 (7%), Northern 31 (4%), North-western 16 (11%), Southern 15 (2%), and Western 21 (5%),” Dr Malama said.
“We see that among the 65 districts that recorded new cases in the last 24 hours, there are a number of rural districts, even among the top ten highest reporting districts, which were Mungwi 14, Kasempa, 11, Shiwangandu nine; Chingola eight; Isoka six; Lusaka six, Mafinga six, Mwansabombwe six; Sioma six; and Kasama five. It is clear that we must prioritize even more of our rural areas in our COVID-19 Response so that they are not left behind. During this window of reduced cases and positivity, we are focusing on system strengthening to inform investment as we anticipate the fourth wave later in the year or early next year. This overall preparedness is linked to the process of reviewing our COVID-19 response which is currently underway (Intra-action review) supported technically and financially by the World Health Organization.”
Dr Malama said 182 new COVID-19 and three new COVID-19 related deaths had been recorded in the last 24 hours.
“In the last 24 hours, 182 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were recorded out of 7,154 tests giving 2.5% positivity and bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 206,327. Regrettably, three new COVID-19 related deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours, all from North-western province. All the three deceased were elderly 62, 69 and 72-year-olds, and unfortunately, all were unvaccinated against COVID-19. The cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded to date, therefore, stands at 3,602 (classified as 2,698 COVID-19 deaths and 904 COVID-19 associated deaths). Among the mortalities we continue to see, including those reported today, are the elderly and those with underlying conditions,” he said.
“We discharged 172 patients (151 from community management and 21 from the isolation facilities), bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 201,124 (97% recovered). We currently have 1,601 active cases, with 1,500 (94%) under community management and 101 (6%) admitted to our COVID-19 isolation facilities. Of those admitted, 79 (78%) are on Oxygen and 25 (25%) are in critical condition. We had 14 new admissions in the last 24hours.”
Dr Malama further said the Ministry of Health had adopted the ‘Operation 10% by September 2021’ targeting 10 percent of the population having received at least one dose of the vaccine by September 30.
“The adherence to the five golden rules remain critical for the control of the pandemic, but acknowledge the game changing role that vaccination plays as it provides sustainable protection against severe disease and related deaths. In ramping up our vaccination program we have adopted “Operation 10% by September 2021” by which we are aiming to move from 3.2% to 10% of our target population having received at least one dose of the vaccine by the 30th September 2021. Today we report administration of 4,077 doses of Johnson and Johnson, as well as 180 Dose 1 and 577 Dose 2 AstraZeneca vaccine,” said Dr Malama.
“This brings the cumulative number of vaccine doses utilised to date to 579,866 doses (59%), out of the 977,600 vaccine stock received (4.5% wastage not included). The cumulative vaccinations broken down by dose and vaccine type are as follows: 310,353 Dose 1 vaccinations (303,449 AstraZeneca and 6,904 Sinopharm) and 269,513 fully vaccinated [i.e. 153,351 Johnson and Johnson, 109,826 Dose 2 AstraZeneca (36% of those that received dose 1); and 6,336 Dose 2 Sinopharm (92% of those that received dose 1)].