ZAMBIA has crossed the 100,000 mark for cumulatively confirmed COVID-19 cases.
And the country has in the last 24 hours recorded 738 new confirmed cases out of 6,987 tests conducted bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date to 100,278.
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Kennedy Malama said five new deaths have been recorded in the last 24 hours.
He said all the deaths were reported from Lusaka with four classified as COVID-19 associated deaths, while one was classified as a COVID-19 death.
“Any life lost is a life we cannot bring back – a child, a parent, a sibling, a grandparent. In the past one week we have been losing on average 5 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.
To respond effectively we are increasing our hospital capacity in order to meet the demand, and we are providing support and technical assistance to the provinces,” Dr Malama said.
He said the ministry has deployed infectious disease specialists to support teams in the provinces as the country prepare for increased critical care management needs.
“We have also made progress towards finalising the recruitments of 766 health workers some of whom will 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.
And Dr Malama said government remain concerned with increasing COVID 19 cases associated with super spreader events such as weddings, matebeto, spiritual and other social gatherings, institutional workshops, meetings including general meetings.
He called people to refrain from holding such activities at the time when the country is recording unprecedented high cases of COVID 19.
“In line with our nine-pillar strategy, the continuation of routine service is important in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our people. To ensure continuity of routine health services, we shall 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.
We have made headway in finalising the preparations the second round vaccinations and we are scheduled to redistribute the ring-fenced doses of AstraZeneca later in the week. All measures are in place to ensure that the second dose vaccination campaign is carried out seamlessly,” Dr Malama said.
U.S. Embassy Announces Arrival of Additional COVID Vaccines
THE United States Embassy in Lusaka has announced the arrival of an additional 151,200 doses of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine donated by the United States Government as part of its global efforts to fight the coronavirus.
The United States has now donated over 300,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson to Zambia over the last week as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to share the U.S. vaccine supply with the world.
The vaccines were made available through the African Union COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility and are part of the U.S. pledge to provide at least 25 million of 80 million doses globally with Africa.
The U.S. government coordinated closely with the African Union and Africa Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) on the country allocations.
And speaking about the impact of this donation, USAID Mission Director Sheryl Stumbras encouraged all Zambians to get vaccinated, focusing on the rigorous testing the vaccine underwent and its strong safety record “Getting vaccinated saves lives.
“That is why the United States has pledged $4 billion to COVAX to accelerate equitable global access to vaccines. The United States is working to ensure countries are prepared to safely and effectively distribute these vaccines,”Stumbras said
Stumbras said vaccines are an essential tool in reducing the impact of COVID-19.
“The Government of the Republic of Zambia has released new guidelines this month that recommend vaccination for expectant and breastfeeding mothers, and the elderly.
These are the same recommendations we give in the United States. Globally, pregnant women are more likely to get severely ill if they get COVID-19,,” Stumbras said
Stumbras further said the United States remains committed to supporting the Ministry of Health in sharing essential information on COVID-19 prevention and vaccine eligibility.
I.K Charitable Trust donates 2000 oxygen cylinders to Ministry of Health
I.K Charitable Trust has donated 2,000 oxygen cylinders as part of the emergency relief aid towards the COVID19 response.
And government says the donation of 2000 oxygen cylinders from I.K Charitable Trust
will help in improving the availability of oxgygen in hospitals.
Speaking when he recieved the donation, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Kennedy Malama said government has continued ramping up procurement of oxygen cylinders, concentrators and oxygen delivery devices.
He called on various partners and stakeholders to support the response to prioritise oxgygen delivery devices.
“With a high number of Patients requiring high flow Oxgygen countrywide standing at over 700 (70% of those admitted) we urge various partners and stakeholders as they come to support the response to prioritize Oxgygen delivery devices and the schedule is available at the Ministry of Health for those who may need it as they plan donations.
The receipt of the donation Of 2000 Oxygen cylinders from I.K Charitable today is a high impact one and Government is grateful for this generous gesture. This donation will enable us assure our patients of improved availability of Oxgygen,” Dr Malama said
Last week, IK Charitable Trust also donated assorted medical supplies to the Ministry of Health.
The medical supplies valued at K2,345,880 include three ventilators to be used to pump air into the lungs of patients with severe respiratory failure, onr blood gas machine to analyse blood oxygen in patients among others and 96,000 COVID-19 swabs.
Zamtel partners Lions Club to feed workers at Levy Covid Centre
Zamtel has announced a partnership with the Lions Club of Woodlands to launch a feeding programme for front line health workers at the Levy Mwanawasa Covid Isolation Centre.
Zamtel has since donated K20,000 to the initiative and also set up a Merchant Code 69650 through which Zamtel Kwacha subscribers can send financial contributions to fund feeding programme.
The Levy Mwanawasa Isolation Centre is the biggest in Zambia and currently has 171 workers who will receive all essential meals through the feeding programme.
Through the Initiative, Zamtel other partners such as ZSIC Life and the Guardian Insurance Group will pay an identified catering firm that will prepare and deliver the meals to the medical facility.
Speaking at the handover of the cheque, Zamtel Senior Manager for Mobile Money Mulenga Masinja said the feeding initiative is meant to appreciate the hard work that health workers are putting in to combat Covid-19.
“As an indigenous Zambian brand, we are making this donation because we believe it will go a long way in meeting the nutritional requirements of our hard working frontline health workers as they provide the much needed care and support for patients afflicted by Covid-19. The funds provided by Zamtel and other partners will also help motivate our workers who are at the front line of this battle against Covid,” Mr Masinja said.
And Lions Club of Woodlands President Kabwe Kandeke thanked Zamtel and the other partners for responding to the needs of the front line workers.
At the same event Senior Medical Superintendent at the Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital Dr. Penias Tembo admitted that it is not a secret that Levy Mwanawasa Covid Isolation Centre is facing a number of operational challenges because the facility is overwhelmed.