HEALTH Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya says Zambia has not recorded any case of the 2019 novel Coronavirus.
In a statement, Dr Chilufya said the government through the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) has heightened surveillance, including at points of entry, and will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves in affected countries.
“Contrary to reports circulating on some media platforms, quoting South Africa’s Health Minister, Zambia has not recorded any case of the 2019 novel Coronavirus,” Dr Chilufya said.
And Dr Chilufya said government is working with the partners to enhance the country’s preparedness to handle any case should it arise.
Zambia sees highest daily coronavirus cases since March
ZAMBIA reported 472 cases of the new coronavirus out of 1,851 tests done, Minister of Health, Dr. Chitalu Chilufya said, the largest one-day increase since March, bringing the country’s total to 4,328.
Additionally, Zambia has recorded three more death bringing the total to 139.
The Ministry of Health is concerned that people have stopped wearing masks and practicing social distance.
The Ministry of Health says they will enforce public gathering in the wake of the spike of Covid-19.
Covid-19 update in Zambia as of 20th July, 2020
Zambia’s Covid-19 cases now stand at 3,326 with 1,620 total recoveries. In the last 24hrs, Zambia carried out 959 tests out of which 178 new cases were recorded and 123 people have recovered and been discharged. This brings the total number of recoveries to 1,620.
Zambia recorded 8 deaths, bringing the total death tally to 128. Zambia has seen a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases recently.
Stay safe, Mask up and avoid unnecessary movements.
UNZA takes lead in anti-COVID-19 drug development
THE University of Zambia (UNZA) has constituted a team of experts that include Medicinal Chemists, Drug Discovery Scientists, Virologists, Botanists, Pharmacologists and Pathologists to help in the discovery of home-grown low cost cures for the COVID-19 pandemic.
The consortium of experts will be exploring Zambian traditional medicines/plants and clinically-established drugs in the Zambian Formulary as potential treatments for COVID-19.
The team comprises Dr James Nyirenda (the lead investigator), Dr Peter Mubanga Cheuka, Dr Edgar Simulundu, Dr Angela Gono-Bwalya, Dr Takondwa Chidumayo, Dr Katendi Changula, Dr Caroline Chisenga, Dr Wezi Kachinda and Mr Kelly Chisanga.
The team’s core mandate is twofold; firstly, to discover and develop medicines that are readily available for the local population and secondly, to discover and develop local medicines optimized for effectiveness and safety on an African or local population.
Meanwhile, the consortium of experts has since received funding from the Ministry of Higher Education through the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). The funding received will be used to kickstart the project.
And University of Zambia (UNZA) Acting Vice Chancellor Dr. Tamala Kambikambi has paid glowing tribute to the consortium of researchers championing the discovery and development of the anti-COVID 19 pandemic drug. Dr. Kambikambi says UNZA’s research undertaking will solve the problems exacerbated by the unavailability of medicines discovered and developed elsewhere on the African continent. She adds that Zambia has lagged behind in the area of drug discovery and development since independence hence the urgent need for UNZA to take a lead.
The Acting VC has also expressed gratitude to the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) through the Ministry of Higher Education for the funds received to kickstart the project.
This is according to a press statement issued by Dr. Brenda Bukowa, Acting Head- Communication and Marketing at the University of Zambia.