COVID-19 crisis worsens in Zambia

By James Kunda

LUSAKA, Zambia (AA) – Zambia announced the reintroduction of revised work arrangements in the public service sector Thursday to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Secretary to the Cabinet, Simon Miti, informed the Health Ministry that the measure was effective May 29 and would last for 30 days.

Updating the nation on the daily COVID-19 situation from the capital Lusaka, a senior ministry official said other institutions and sectors were encouraged to emulate the high-impact intervention.

“Do not ask what the government is doing about preventing and mitigating the effects of COVID-19 but what we are doing as individuals, families, institutions and as communities, Kennedy Malama, the Ministry of Health’s Permanent Secretary for Technical Services, told reporters.

He said the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded as of Thursday stood at 93,947, including one of the Indian variant, with 1,275 deaths and 91,321 recoveries.

“There are currently 1,351 active cases, with 48 on oxygen therapy and nine in critical condition. We therefore urge the public not to ignore the role of super spreader events such as weddings, funerals, political rallies and congregate settings such as places of worship and learning institutions,” he said.

On the COVID-19 vaccination program, Thursday’s report indicated that the cumulative doses given stood at 140,843 of either the AstraZeneca or Sinopharm vaccine.

A total of 134,277 people had received the AstraZeneca shot and 6,566 the Sinopharm vaccine, and out of those who had received the first dose of the vaccine, 5,286 had gone on to receive their second dose.

The Health Ministry also reported that 6,000 travelers had been screened as of Thursday, with 500 placed in self-isolation and 61 denied entry.