85 new positive cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Zambia in the last 24 hours bringing the cumulative total to 252 COVID-19 cases attributed to high confirmed cases at Nakonde Border.

Following the development, government  says it will institute stringent measures at the border will tighten the border controls as truck drivers have been allowed to enter into the country to supply petroleum and other essential materials.

Minister of Health, Chitalu Chilufya has announced during today’s COVID-19 update that 76 cases were found positive out of the 170 tests that were conducted in Nakonde while the nine cases are from Lusaka from among the 343 tests conducted.

Dr. Chilufya indicated that from the 76 cases in Nakonde, 26 were truck drivers crossing in to the country, 13 involve staff from lodges and commercial sex workers, while the 31 are immigration and staff and agents and the other four are known contacts of cases that were picked earlier.

“After the two first cases were reported from Nakonde, the Zambia National Public Health Institute conducted an aggressive contact tracing. The team also decided to do mass screening and targeted testing which brought about a spike in the number of truck drivers coming into the country from Tanzania,” the Minister noted.

From among the nine cases from Lusaka, two of them are part of the new deaths that the country has recorded bringing the number of cases to seven, he disclosed.

The Minister stated that outcome in the cases of COVID-19 in Nakonde is a reflection of the sensitivity of surveillance activities that the multi-sectoral team has embarked on.

He indicated that Nakonde is now the epicenter of COVID-19 and operations in the district have continued.

Dr. Chilufya said government will institute stringent measures at the border will also tighten the border controls as truck drivers have been allowed to enter into the country to supply petroleum and other essential materials.

“Operations in Nakonde continues. We have allowed truck drivers to come into the country. Therefore, in a whole government approach we will institute stringent border measures and also tighten border controls to stop the spread of the pandemic and restrict the importation of cases,” he said.

“Nakonde is now an epicenter for COVID-19. We see no reason why someone should travel to Nakonde. Stay away from Nakonde. Should you travel there, you will be subjected to 14 days mandatory quarantine at our facilities in your area at your own cost,” said Dr Chitalu.

He further stated that government through his Ministry has reinforced health personnel at the facilities in both Chinsali and Nakonde where the positive cases are been monitored and has also continued with border collaboration with neighbouring countries to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“We have reinforced staff at our Nakonde and Chinsali facilities where the positive cases are been monitored. Cross border collaboration with our counterparts in neighbouring also continues to limit the spread of COVID-19,” indicated Dr. Chilufya.

Meanwhile, the Minister further announced that three COVID-19 related deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours bringing the number of death toll to 7.

And commenting on the new recorded deaths  due to COVID-19 in the country, the minister  explained that among the dead was an 82 year old man from Nampundwe who also had a Cerebral Vascular Accident also known as stroke.

“We have in the last 24 hours recorded three COVD-19 related deaths. This brings the death toll to seven. The three deaths involve an 82 years old patient from Nampundwe who was brought in at Levy Mwanawasa Teaching Hospital with a Cerebral Vascular Accident also known as stroke and was examined and subjected to routine protocol and tested positive of COVID-19. The patient also had massive bleeding secondary to hypertension.

“The second death involved a 30 year old female from Ng’ombe compound in Lusaka who had a chronic liver condition and was brought in our health facility critically ill. The third patient is from Ndola and was taken to the hospital in a very ill state. Investigations were done and Tuberculosis was detected COVID-19 confirmed and the patient died a few days after admission,” the Minister stated.

The Minister of Health however noted that one case of COVID-19 has been discharged bringing the total number of recoveries to 112.

“We continue to receive alerts from the members of the public. About 1,821 alerts were received and all proved to be none cases. 3,647 persons have also been discharged from the 14 day mandatory quarantine,” he added.

Globally, 4, 14,500 positive COVID-19 cases are reported with 276, 253, 00 deaths including 1,387,259 recoveries in 212 countries.

In Africa, 59,124 cases reported with 2,164 deaths and 19,839 recoveries.

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