By BENNIE MUNDANDO
ZAMBIA has recorded a surge in the number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the past 11 days as 324 new cases have been recorded with 18 Covid-related deaths.
During a national update on the Covid-19 situation yesterday, Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya said the increase in the number of cases has been triggered by laxity on the public to adhere to public health and social guidelines.
And Dr. Chilufya has revoked and replaced regulation number 9 in SI 22 of 2020 on the aspect of restrictions of gatherings.
“Further, measures that were prescribed in Statutory Instruments (SIs) 21 and 22 are still in force and we must ensure that we adhere to that. Anchoring on powers vested in me, I have revoked and replaced regulation number 9 in SI 22 of 2020 on the aspect of restrictions of gatherings which shall now read, “A public ceremony or gathering shall not be held in an infected area without a written permission of an authorised officer,” he said.
Dr Chilufya said, “Zambia has in the last 11 days recorded a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases and Covid-related deaths, recording a total of 324 cases and 18 Covid-related deaths, 14 of which have been brought in dead (BID). Lusaka district is back as a hotspot, recording an increased number of cases in the last 11 days.
“However, geographic spread nationally has been noted. Cumulatively in the last 11 days, we have recorded 1895 cases with a total of 18 deaths. This brings the number of deaths cumulatively to 42 while we have recorded a total of 1412 recoveries from the time the pandemic started,” Dr. Chilufya said.
According to the situation analysis in the past 11 days, contacts to known cases were 67, those that were picked out of health facility-based screening were 48, truck drivers that were picked at the points of entry and various points of screening are 63 and those that were picked at various points of community screening are 105 with health workers that have been screened accounting for nine cases.
“I would like to reiterate the call from President Lungu for us to be wary of the cold season as it has implications in the Covid-19 outcomes. We have seen that the cold season has seen an escalation of cases and deaths globally and locally,” Dr Chilufya said.