Zambia’s 48 COVID-19 deaths in the previous 24 hours are concerning — Cabinet Secretary

Zambia has recorded the greatest number of COVID-19 deaths since the outbreak began, with 48 deaths in the previous 24 hours, according to Cabinet Secretary Simon Miti.

Dr. Miti, addressing at a news conference in Lusaka yesterday, decried the high number of deaths lost on a daily basis since the third wave reached the nation, according to ZANIS.

Dr. Miti stated that the country is losing individuals at an alarming rate due to the pandemic, stating less fatalities per day at the start of the virus and growing to 15, 28, and now 48 fatalities per day, bringing the total number of fatalities to 1,492.

The Secretary to the Cabinet further disclosed that the country has in the last 24 hours recorded 3,026 confirmed cases of COVID-19 out of 12,928 tests carried out, giving a 23 percent positivity rate.

He added that this is also the highest positive case recorded, bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases to date to 118,850.

Dr. Miti disclosed that the scenario has disappointed President Edgar Lungu as it is a sign of low adherence levels among people and lack of enforcement by relevant authorities.

“This third wave has been characterized by rapid spread of COVID-19 infections, severe diseases and increased deaths surpassing within three weeks, what we experienced in three months in previous waves,” Dr. Miti stated.

He noted that the health facilities are now admitting an average of 150 cases and within these admission, 70 percent are on oxygen therapy.

In light of the increased cases, The Secretary to the Cabinet urged the general public to consider taking the COVID-19 vaccine whenever it is available so that many are protected.

He was delighted that so far 142,089 people have received their first dose of AtraZeneca and Sinopharm while 6,215 have received their second dose of Sinopharm.

He reiterated the government’s commitment to mobilise more vaccines adding that Zambia is expecting 228,000 doses of AtraZeneca and 100, 000 doses of Sinopharm by August, 2021.

Dr. Miti indicated that President Lungu has since directed all ministries and institutions to prioritise COVID-19 in their daily activities and that Permanent Secretaries report on interventions being implemented to enhance health security in the country.

To this effect, the government has announced heightened measures in an effort to mitigate the spread of the pandemic.

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