Zambian health minister Chitalu Chilufya said on Monday the COVID-19 pandemic will worsen non-communicable diseases, calling for a healthier lifestyle to lessen the impact.

Non-communicable diseases caused by things such as smoking, abuse of alcohol and inactivity are likely to be worsened by the pandemic, he told a daily update on COVID-19.

“One can easily die if such habits are not controlled,” Chilufya said.

The minister said most patients dying of COVID-19 in the country had underlying diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and urged those with such conditions to continue taking medication.

He said Zambia recorded one COVID-19 death in the previous 24 hours, bringing total deaths to 288.

The country also reported 72 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, out of 1,169 tests conducted, bringing cumulative cases to 12,097.

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