Minister of Health, Jonas Chanda says Zambia is fortunate to have maintained a positivity rate of below 5 percent for the past two weeks as the COVID pandemic has continued to upset the world, with countries in Asia and Europe continuing to contribute the largest numbers of daily new COVID – 19 cases.
He said the country recorded a lower 3 percent of the total number of people tested for COVID this week as compared to last week’s 4 percent.
However, Dr. Chanda appealed to Zambians to remain cautious and continue to encourage adherence to the COVID prevention guidelines and other public health guidance.
“We wish to caution that we still face a possible increase in cases following the incubation period, which is the time between exposure to the virus and onset of symptoms, typically 5 – 6 days,” the Minister explained.
Dr. Chanda thanked health teams who are on the ground for their tireless and selfless dedication to duty.
“As we continue to monitor the incidences following COVID – 19 globally, we note from our colleagues in the region like Malawi, Zimbabwe and others that there are no records concerning adverse events following vaccination with AstraZeneca or indeed any other Covid-19 vaccine. The common mild non-life-threatening events reported include pain at the injection site, headache, fever, nausea, fatigue, and generalized body pains,” he said.
The Minister acknowledged the support received from the World Health Organization and the United Kingdom for capacity building in Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) saying it will go a long way in supporting the country effectively for the response at the sub-national level.
Meanwhile, Dr. Chanda says the country has recorded 79 positive COVID cases out of the 2,872 tested people, with North-Western recording the highest number at 36 cases and Copperbelt with the lowest at 1 case.
“On a sad note, we recorded two (2) new deaths from Copperbelt (1) and Northern (1) provinces. The cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded now stands at 1,222, classified as 683 COVID – 19 deaths and 539 COVID – 19 associated deaths,” he explained.
Mr. Chanda said a total number of 110 discharges were recorded from both the COVID – 19 isolation facilities and home management, bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 96 percent.