HEALTH Minister Sylvia Masebo has expressed concern over abuse of antibiotics by members of the public.

And Masebo says 97 COVID-19 cases were recorded in the last 24 hours.

In a statement, Tuesday, Masebo noted that many people were abusing medicines in human and animal health as well as agriculture.

“Global efforts to end infectious diseases will only succeed if we have effective medicines to treat them. Antimicrobial resistance (where drugs stop being effective due to improper use) including multidrug resistance in TB, HIV for example, is on the rise globally. However, we note with concern the abuse of medicines particularly antibiotics by members of the public. While we continue to work hard to combat Antimicrobial Resistance, we have retrogressed with many people abusing medicines in human and animal health as well as agriculture,” she stated.

“As an individual, your role in fighting Antimicrobial resistance includes: Not self-prescribe; always finish your course as prescribed by a qualified physician; eating or selling animal and plant products that have been cleared of antimicrobials (ask your veterinary or agricultural officers on withdrawal period following antimicrobial or pesticide use); keeping your hands and environment clean to prevent infections, avoid getting sick, and prevent spreading germs.”

And Masebo said new COVID-19 cases were reported from 44 districts, and that no death had been recorded.

“In the last 24 hours, 6,630 tests were conducted, out of which 97 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were detected (1.5 percent overall national positivity). The breakdown of the new cases and within province positivity are as follows: Central province 5 (1.6 percent), Copperbelt province 8 (1.4 percent), Eastern province 8 (1.5 percent. Luapula province 14 (3.7 percent), Lusaka province 2 (0.1 percent), Muchinga 14 (2.1 percent), Northern province 9 (1.7 percent). North-western 29 (12.2 percent), Southern 3 (0.4 percent), Western 5 (1.4 percent),” she said.

“At district level, the new cases were reported from 44 districts, with the top five reporting districts being Solwezi 13, Kasempa 11, Mansa 6, Mbala 6, and Nakonde 6, whereas the remaining 39 districts accounted for 55 of the new cases, having recorded four or fewer new cases each. The cumulative number of COVID-19 confirmed cases recorded to date now stands at 208,599. There were no new deaths recorded in the last 24 hours. The cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded to date stands at 3,639 (classified as 2,727 COVID-19 deaths and 912 COVID-19 associated deaths).”

Masebo said the cumulative number of recoveries recorded stood at 204,323.

“We currently have 637 active cases (up from 600 reported yesterday) under either admission to an isolation facility or home management for those who are asymptomatic and/or low risk. Patients in facilities: In the last 24 hours, we saw nine new admissions versus eight discharges from COVID-19 facilities country wide. There are currently 43 (7 percent) of the active cases who are admitted, with 31 (72 percent) on Oxygen therapy and 13 (30 percent) are in critical condition, a further increase from yesterday’s report,” she said.

“Patients being managed from home: We had 52 patients discharged from home management, having met the WHO criteria for discharge, leaving 594 (93 percent) of active patients who are currently under home management. Following the combined 60 discharges from both home management and facilities in the last 24 hours, the cumulative number of recoveries recorded to date now stands at 204,323 (98 percent recovered).”

Meanwhile, Masebo said over 2,000 people were administered with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in the last 24 hours.

“In the last 24 hours, we administered the following: 2,681 doses of Johnson and Johnson. 383 Dose 1 and 5,501 Dose 2 AstraZeneca. 42 Doses of Sinopharm. The cumulative number of doses that have been administered to date is 661,699, broken down by dose type as follows: 313,665 Dose 1 vaccinations and 348,034 fully vaccinated (of which 211,116 (61 percent) are the single dose J&J vaccinations),” stated Masebo.