WITH the third wave of COVID-19 building up, Zambia has recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases in a single day with 1,164 cases and six deaths in the 24 hours preceding yesterday.

And Zambia Correctional Services has confirmed COVID-19 cases among inmates in Lusaka.The new cases were recorded from 10,678 tests conducted, representing a 11 percent positivity rate, bringing the number of confirmed cases since March 2020 to 99,540.

Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Kennedy Malama said yesterday that the new cases were recorded in all the 10 provinces, with Lusaka leading with 488, Western 200, Eastern 114, Copperbelt 113, Central 99, Southern 96, North-Western 18, Luapula 17, Northern 12 and Muchinga with seven evolution of our epidemiological picture has seen the number of our daily new cases increase from under 100 to over 500 at the start of June and today we see over 1,000 new cases. Indeed this is cause for concern,” Dr Malama said.

Dr Malama said the country has also continued to see an increase in the number of daily deaths, with six deaths recorded in the last 24 hours. Lusaka recorded three deaths while Central, Northern and Western provinces recorded a death each.“Three of the deaths have been classified as COVID-19 deaths, while the other three were classified as COVID-19 associated deaths.

The number of COVID-19-related deaths recording to date now stands at 1,303 classified as 737 COVID deaths and 566 COVID-19-associated deaths,” he said.Dr Malama said 522 discharges were made from both the COVID-19 isolation facilities and home management around the country, bringing the number of recoveries to 93,036 representing 93 percent. There are 5,201 active cases out of which 4,986 are under community management and 215 are admitted to COVID-19 isolation facilities. “In the last 24 hours, we saw 50 new admissions. Among those currently under admission, 159 are on oxygen therapy and 19 are in critical condition.

The numbers of cases that we have recorded this week alone are indeed worrisome,” he said.Dr Malama said Government had projected that the third wave would hit the country around this time learning from what was happening globally and on the continent.

He, however, said Government will remain committed to ensuring that all the pillars in the response continue to be strengthened. “Our focus remains ensuring the preparedness of our frontline, particularly in terms of increased hospital capacity for the increasing admissions, as well as surge staff capacity and commodities security.

The new Lusaka Specialised Hospital is set to be operational today (yesterday) adding an extra 160 beds to the response,” he said.He said Government has continued engaging various stakeholders and that the epidemic preparedness, prevention, control and management committees at provincial and district levels are active.

He urged all stakeholders to support the various interventions being implemented. “We reiterate our call on the importance of shifting the fight from the health facilities to the communities.

Let us avoid overwhelming the health system by closing the taps of infection in our community,” he said.Dr Malama encouraged Zambians to ensure adherence to the five golden rules which include masking up correctly and consistently, maintaining physical distance, hand washing, avoiding crowded places if possible and seeking medical attention early if one is symptomatic.

And Zambia Correctional Services commissioner-general Chisela Chileshe said COVID-19 isolations have been created to manage inmates who test positive.“What is important is how to manage the cases that we find.

We have isolation facilities, so anyone who is found with COVID-19 is transferred to an isolation facility. And then we manage them and put up measures. So I don’t see COVID-19 in a facility being an issue,” Dr Chileshe said.

He said there is an isolation centre in Mpima, and Kamwala has also been created as an isolation centre. “Other stations have also created isolation centres if there are any cases that are there.

I am coming from Luapula, Muchinga, Northern, no cases have been reported there but obviously I have been told there are cases in Lusaka. So it’s not peculiar for these centres to have it,” Dr Chileshe said. On Friday Dr Malama confirmed that Zambia is three weeks into the third wav

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