By Brightwell Chabusha
Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya has revealed that the new strain of COVID-19 quickly progresses in persons with underlining conditions and the obese.
COVID-19 has in the last 24 hours claimed 23 lives, among them former Local Government Deputy Minister and Luapula member of parliament Chrispin Musosha At the age of 62.
During the same period, 1,241 COVID-19 cases were recorded out of 12,383 tests conducted countrywide in the last 24 hours.
The minister has advised Zambians to continue observing health measures aimed at mitigating the spread of the virus.
“Today, Zambia has recorded another high 1,241 COVID-19 cases and 23 deaths out of 12,383 tests conducted nationally in the last 24 hours. A total of 163 people have been discharged within healthcare and homecare facility management in the last 24 hrs. However, with the new admissions we now have 191 patients under healthcare management with 108 on oxygen therapy. The cumulative totals now stand at 26,567 cases, 464 deaths and 20,512 recoveries. Of the deaths, 159 are due to COVID-19, while 291 are associated COVD-19 deaths and 14 are yet to be classified,” he said.
“Let us together with unity of purpose collectively fight the COVID-19: 1) Mask up in public; 2) Maintain physical distance; 3) Wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer; 4) Avoid crowded places and stay at home; 5) Seek medical attention early if symptomatic.”
And Dr Chilufya said the current disease pattern indicates speedy transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and quick progression in persons with underlining conditions such as Diabetes, Hypertension, Immune compromised conditions and even obese persons.
He said the success in the battle against COVID-19 remains in people’s hands as individuals and communities.
Dr. Chilufya said the laxity in compliance to the prescribed public health measures is an exacerbating factor as chances of transmission continuously increase in the night clubs, bars, restaurants, parties, weddings and funerals among other social events that we patronise.
“This morning, I learnt with a heavy heart how many young and middle aged people were found patronising in social events and public places without any observation of mask wearing, hand hygiene of physical distancing. I must warn that in line with the Public Health Act CAP 295. of the Laws of Zambia and Statutory instruments 21, 22 and 62, the law will visit those flouting the public health regulations and action accordingly,” Dr Chilufya said.