Masebo laments the threat of COVID-19’s fourth wave

Despite a reduction in third wave effects, Zambia’s Ministry of Health warns that the country must be on high alert for the threat of the Covid 19 fourth wave.

Sylvia Masebo, Minister of Health, warns the country must remain vigilant and not relax its guard as the fourth wave threatens to hit the country in early December.

Ms Masebo stated that getting vaccinated and following the Covid-19 preventative public health measures is critical in combatting the epidemic in the country.

Despite the potential of a fourth wave, the minister stated that the country has continued to record lower infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Ms Masebo said in the last 24 hours, the country recorded 140 new Covid 19 infections out of 7,594 tests conducted countrywide bringing the cumulative total of confirmed Covid 19 cases to 207,836 cases.

She disclosed that the new Covid 19 infections came from 49 districts out of the 116 districts nationwide, compared to 57 districts that were reported the previous day.

The minister said five districts accounted for 36 % of the new infections namely Chipili (16), Chipata (11), Lusaka (9), Solwezi (9) and Chifunabuli (6), while the remaining 44 districts reported five or fewer cases each.

Ms Masebo said the country recorded three (3) Covid-19- deaths from Copperbelt, Lusaka and North-western provinces bringing the cumulative deaths to 3,629 of which 2,720 were classified as Covid-19 deaths and 909 Covid-19 associated deaths.

She disclosed that there are currently 1,056 active cases, out of which 986 are being managed from home, which is the first time that less than 1,000 cases are being managed at community level.

The minister of health said 70 patients are admitted in Covid-19 isolation facilities, out of which 49 are on Oxygen and 13 are in critical condition.

Ms Masebo said 165 patients were discharged bringing the cumulative number of recoveries to 203,151 discharges.

She noted that globally 595, 894 new cases and 9,132 deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours, with Asia continuing to account for the highest proportion of new cases at 41%, followed by North America 28%, Europe at 19%, South America 7%, and Africa at 5%.

The minister disclosed that 2,808 doses of Johnson and Johnson, 91 Dose 1 and 903 Dose 2 of AstraZeneca, and 41 Dose 1 of Sinopharm vaccines were administered bringing the cumulative vaccinations to 311,686 of Dose 1 vaccinations and 306,537 fully vaccinated.

Ms Masebo said there is need to keep a watchful eye on the Malaria situation in the country amidst the Covid 19 pandemic, with approximately 5.9 million cases recorded over three years and 1,511 deaths annually..

She said malaria remains one of the leading causes of death in Zambia with statistics showing that there are 14,250 cases recorded per day and 4 deaths per day.

Ms Masebo urged the general public to partner with the ministry in preventing of Malaria by allowing indoor residual spraying, sleeping under insecticide treated bed-nets and seeking early treatment when unwell.

The minister urged the public to continue masking up, maintaining social distance, hand sanitising , avoiding crowded places and seeking treatment early when sick.

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