HEALTH Minister Sylvia Masebo says the national vaccination coverage is now at 39.9 percent, with 4,366,458 people being fully vaccinated.

During a COVID-19 media briefing, Friday, Masebo said government remained hopeful that COVID-19 would eventually be a public health event of the past.

“Last year this time, we had a high incidence of COVID-19 and related deaths. We remain hopeful that the COVID-19 will eventually be a public health event of the past. However, while we remain hopeful of continued and improved epidemic status in the country, we are cautious of the continued hospitalisation of mainly people with underlying conditions co-infected with COVID-19. We note, a number of persons with underlying conditions quickly develop severe pneumonia from COVID-19 and when treated late, the outcome is not always good. I wish to emphasise that it is important to get to the nearest healthcare facility whenever unwell. Allow our trained healthcare personnel to determine the cause of your illness so you are treated correctly and timely,” she said.

“We will continue to increase testing of persons presenting in our healthcare facilities along with those presenting with symptoms in the communities, at points of entry and contacts to known cases. This is in order to timely diagnose and treat accordingly those who are infected with COVID-19 or any other ailments for that matter. In the last 24 hours (Friday), we recorded 188 new cases out of 3,211 tests performed, representing a 6% positivity rate. We admitted nine patients, and conversely, we discharged 161 patients, all from both home-based cases, leaving us with 1,385 active cases countrywide. Of the active cases, 29 (2%) currently require admission and of these, 12 (41%) are on oxygen while three are classified as being in critical condition.”

She said the national vaccination coverage was now at 39.9 percent, with over 4 million people being fully vaccinated.

“Sadly, this week has seen each day having at least a COVID-19-related death reported. Today, we report three new deaths: two COVID-19 associated deaths from Central province and one COVID-19 death from Southern province. We continue to appeal to families to ensure that the elderly, persons with underlying conditons and chronic illnesses are vaccinated against COVID-19. Our cumulative number of deaths now stands at 4,003, of which 2,861 have been classified as COVID-19 deaths and 1,142 as COVID-associated deaths. Vaccination remains key in assuring controlled COVID-19 transmission and severe disease. Government continues to facilitate the securing of adequate vaccines. We are expecting another shipment of 1,158,300 Pfizer and 950,350 Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses,” said Masebo.

“Our national vaccination coverage is now at 39.9%, with 4,366,458 people being fully vaccinated. We are still controlling the measles outbreak in Mushindamo and I am happy to reveal an improved incidence. However, we note the breakthrough in other districts with Solwezi and Kalumbila reporting 1 and 2 cases respectively. Measles is a vaccine preventable disease. I do hope you all took advantage of the child health week to get your children vaccinated against the various vaccine-preventable diseases. I do know that my teams on the ground also facilitated other services such as weighing and reviewing general child health status.”