By KALOBWE BWALYA
ZAMBIA has now crossed the 100, 000 mark for cumulatively confirmed Covid-19 cases after recording 738 new cases out of 6, 987 tests conducted.
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services, Dr Kennedy Malama said the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date was 100, 278.
Dr Malama said whereas there was only a rise in the number of new cases at the beginning of the third wave, there was now also an increase in the number of deaths.
He said in a statement that the past one week, the country had been losing an average of five people per day.
“We have equally seen an increase in the number of critical cases in our health facilities. It is therefore imperative that we strengthen our community interventions if we are to bring the situation under control,” Dr Malama said.
“Sadly, we recorded five new deaths in the last 24 hours. All the deaths were reported from Lusaka,” he said.
Dr Malama said the hospital capacity was being increased to meet the demand, saying that support and technical assistance was being provided to the provinces.
He said infectious disease specialists had been deployed to support teams in the provinces’ preparations for increased critical care management needs.
Dr Malama said progress had been made towards finalising the recruitments of 766 health workers, some of whom would be strategically placed in the Covid-19 facilities.
“We are determined to see this preparedness translated into practice. Furthermore, interventions are being undertaken to strengthen production and delivery of oxygen in our hospitals,” he said.
Dr Malama said the ministry would ensure continuity of routine health services and would be conducting child health week throughout the country in the last week of June, scheduled to commence two days before the resumption of the second round of the AstraZeneca vaccination.
He said progress had been made in finalising the preparations for the second round of vaccinations and were scheduled to redistribute the ring-fenced doses of AstraZeneca later in the week.
Dr Malama said all measures were in place to ensure that the second dose vaccination campaign was carried out smoothly.