Zambia heightens surveillance amid threat of fifth COVID-19 wave

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COVID-19

Zambia said Monday that it has heightened surveillance measures against a possible fifth COVID-19 wave outbreak as the country enters the cold season.

Lackson Kasonka, the permanent secretary in charge of Technical Services of the Ministry of Health, said an imminent fifth wave was a threat to the country’s public health security considering the upsurges occurring in some countries within the region.

He said the ministry has since heightened disease intelligence and contact tracing, timely detection and management of cases and heightened other response measures.

He told reporters during a COVID-19 update press briefing that the country saw an increase in new cases in the past week compared to the previous week while the national positivity also increased to about 4 percent. Data showed the country recorded 501 new cases in the past week compared to 393 the previous week, indicating a 27 percent increase.

“We are continuing to closely monitor our statistics for signs of resurgence and ensuring that our teams remain prepared for a possible fifth wave,” he said.

According to him, the COVID-19 was still very much around hence the need for more to get vaccinated.

On Saturday, Vice-President Mutale Nalumango launched a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign as the country tries to reach 70 percent of the eligible population by July this year.

The country’s cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases stand at 320,680 while a total of 3,983 people have died since the pandemic broke out in March 2020. A total of 316,139 people have recovered from the disease. Enditem

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