HEALTH Minister Sylvia Masebo says an environmental and water analysis has revealed faecal contamination of water in Kanyama, Kaunda square, Matero, George and Bauleni areas.

In a statement, Friday, Masebo said the ministry had continued investigating reports of typhoid in Lusaka.

“As we have been cautioning, this time of year is associated with food and water borne diseases. Many of you may have heard the rumours of a typhoid outbreak in Lusaka. We wish to update the nation that through our disease intelligence units at the Zambia National Public Health Institute, we continue investigating reports within Lusaka province. Environmental and water analysis reveals feacal contamination of water in Kanyama, Kaunda square, Matero, George and Bauleni areas,” she said.

Masebo said the ministry had secured 6,000 bottles of liquid chlorine from the Red Cross, among other interventions.

“Our disease intelligence agency, the ZNPHI led team working with the water utility companies, and the local authorities have instituted the following activities: heightened active surveillance-reporting diarrhea cases every morning just like COVID. Secured 6000 bottles of liquid chlorine from Red Cross. These will be collected and distributed tomorrow. Engaged the Ministry of Water Development and sanitation as well as Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company to manage the problem in Kaunda square. Intensified water quality monitoring. Community sensitization with the support of Zambia Red Cross. We continue to urge all households to ensure that they practice safe food and water hygiene practices more so during this time of year in order to avoid diseases,” she said.

Masebo said her ministry was encouraged by the remarkable reduction of COVID-19 cases with each subsequent week.

“Having fought off the most virulent waves since early June, it is now evident that we have come clear of the third wave and are currently recording cases, deaths and hospitalisations in numbers similar to pre-third wave times. We have seen a remarkable reduction with each subsequent week, having come from recording over 3,000 cases daily at the height of the wave and as many as 72 deaths in a day at one point. We are encouraged that currently we have less than 10 patients who remain under admission. We remain poised to fight off a possible fourth wave through our emergency response and preparedness structures. We commend all staff at all levels across the country for their hard work over the past months. We encourage consultation among our provincial and district leadership and wish to guide that staff should be reoriented on the correct procedures for media engagement,” said Masebo.

“In the last 24 hours, 46 new COVID-19 cases out of the 5,912 tests that were conducted countrywide, (0.8 percent overall national positivity). The new cases were reported from 21 districts across the ten provinces; the majority of the cases by district were reported from Lusaka 16; while Chifunabuli, Choma, and Kasempa recorded three cases each, Chembe, Livingstone, Lufwanyama, and Nkeyema recorded two new cases each; the remaining 13 districts recorded only one case each. For the second consecutive day, we recorded no new deaths in the last 24 hours. The cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded to date stands at 3,657 (classified as 2,738 COVID-19 deaths and 919 COVID-19 associated deaths).”