By AARON CHIYANZO
FIVE frontline health workers at the Levy Mwanawasa Covid-19 Isolation Centre in Lusaka have tested positive to the Coronavirus, Health minister Chitalu Chilufya has said.
And Dr Chilufya said a suspicious death of a 52 year-old asthmatic man from Choma at the University Teaching Hospital was being investigated for Covid-19.
He said during the Covid-19 update yesterday that the number of health workers infected by the Coronavirus had reached eight from the 70 cases the country had recorded so far.
Dr Chilufya however said health workers at the frontline were highly at risk because of the many ways to get the infection but that their contraction of the virus was not as a result of a lack of protective equipment.
“Front-line health workers take personal sacrifice while we are seated at home. There are many situations that health workers can get infection, they are at high risk,” Dr Chilufya said.
Dr Chilufya said all staff participating in the Covid-19 fight at the front-line had to be retrained and reoriented following revelations that 20 percent of the global infections to the virus were health workers who were managing cases.
He said senior staff had also been deployed to supervise all shifts and enforce compliance at the Covid-19 isolation centres.
Dr Chilufya said the centres had also been restocked with personal protective equipment for frontline workers and that highest levels of safety were being observed, while surfaces were being disinfected.
Meanwhile, Dr Chilufya said samples were collected for testing for Covid-19 from a Choma man who died at UTH yesterday.
He said the condition of the asthmatic man had deteriorated and he died a few hours after arriving at UTH.
Dr Chilufya also said 322 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours and that they all tested negative.
He also said the Marapodi family that travelled to Kabwe where a 10 year-old tested positive Covid-19 after interacting with the same family, tested negative to the virus.
And the Association of Indian Community in Zambia has donated a fully functional isolation centre in Lusaka’s Chinika area.
Association representative Ishmael Kankhara said a warehouse was converted into a 205 bed with mattresses facilitated by Printech limited at a cost of K2 million.
Mr Kankhara said it has four patient monitors, a ventilator and other medical equipment.
He said it also had 20 showers and 20 toilets, five wash basins, six geysers, a genset, two microwaves, ovens and stoves, 11 officers chairs and tables and five fridges among others.
Others who made donations were the University of Zambia which mobilised from its partners about US$241, 800 worth of testing reagents, laboratory consumables, personal protective equipment (PPEs) and provision of surveillance capabilities for emerging infectious diseases including the Covid-19 pandemic, the Zambia Pakistan Friendship Association who gave K57,000 and the International Women’s Club of Lusaka, 1, 100 handmade masks among others.
By AARON CHIYANZO