MINISTRY of Health Permanent Secretary in charge of Technical services Dr Kennedy Malama says 20 pupils and students have tested positive to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours.

And Dr Malama says all provinces, except North-Western, are reporting positivity rates of less than five percent.

In a statement, Wednesday, Dr Malama said 2,475 students and pupils were screened while 556 were tested, of which 20 were positive and isolated.

“Our school routine learning institutions surveillance activities have continued and in the last 24hours, 2,475 students and pupils were screened with 556 tested of which 20 were positive and have been isolated,” read the statement.

He said 148 cases were confirmed bringing the cumulative number of cases to 207,294.

“148 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were detected out of the 7,105 tests conducted in the last 24 hours giving a 2 percent overall national positivity. The cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date now stands at 207,294. The distribution of the new cases with Provincial positivity are as follows: Central 3 (1 percent), Copperbelt 5 (1 percent), Eastern 9 (2 percent), Luapula 20 (4 percent), Lusaka 28 (2 percent), Muchinga 16 (2percent), Northern 31 (4 percent), North-western 16 (8 percent), Southern 9 (1 percent), and Western 11 (3 percent). The new cases were reported from 44 districts, with the top ten reporting districts being Kafue 22, Mbala 9, Lunte 8, Luwingu 8, Solwezi 8, Mazabuka 7, Lusaka 6, Nakonde 6, Mpulungu 5, and Chifunabuli 4,” he said.

Dr Malama stated that the cumulative number of deaths stood at 3,622 and that the total number of recoveries was at 202,586.

“Two new COVID-19 deaths from Lusaka province. The cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded to date now stands at 3,622 (classified as 2,714 COVID-19 deaths and 908 COVID-19 associated deaths). We had 14 new admissions, with an equal number of facility discharges (14) recorded. A further 72 patients were discharged from community management, giving a total of 86 discharges in the last 24 hours. The cumulative number of recoveries now stands at 202,586 (98 percent recovered),” Dr Malama stated.

“We currently have 1,234 active cases, and this number has seen an increase consecutively over the past three days. Of the active cases, 1,158 (94 percent) are under community management and 76 (6 percent) patients are currently admitted to our COVID-19 isolation facilities. Of the admitted, 52 (68 percent) are on Oxygen and 13 (17 percent) are in critical condition.”

Dr Malama said all provinces except North-Western reported positivity of less than five percent.

“Our country COVID-19 situation remains encouraging with significant reduction in new cases, positivity, hospitalization and deaths in the past three weeks. All provinces except North-western are reporting positivity of less than 5 percent. Northwestern Province is receiving appropriate support to address the current situation. Even as the COVID-19 situation in our country continues to improve, we urge members of the public to continue taking appropriate action to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Dr Malama said.

He further stated that 2,808 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines had been administered in the last 24 hours.

“In the last 24 hours, we administered 2,808 doses of Johnson and Johnson, as well as 53 Dose 1 Sinopharm, 140 AstraZeneca Dose 1 and 412 Dose 2 AstraZeneca vaccine dose. The breakdown of the cumulative vaccinations by dose and vaccine type are as follows: 311,242 Dose 1 vaccinations (i.e. 304,101 AstraZeneca and 7,141 Sinopharm) and 295,167 fully vaccinated [i.e. 177,061 Johnson and Johnson, 111,770 Dose 2 AstraZeneca (37 percent of those that received dose 1); and 6,336 Dose 2 Sinopharm (89 percent of those that received dose 1)]. Out of the 1,120,800 vaccine doses received to date, the cumulative usage now stands at 649,919 doses (58 percent),” stated Dr Malama.