Zambia rules out mass testing for COVID-19 amid surge in cases

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Chitalu Chilufya (C), Zambian Minister of Health addresses the press in Lusaka, capital of Zambia, March 17, 2020. The Zambian government announced Tuesday that it was closing all schools in view of the COVID-19 outbreak. Although Zambia has not recorded any COVID-19 case, the government has heightened its preparedness and surveillance against the COVID-19. (Xinhua)
Chitalu Chilufya (C), Zambian Minister of Health addresses the press in Lusaka, capital of Zambia, March 17, 2020. The Zambian government announced Tuesday that it was closing all schools in view of the COVID-19 outbreak. Although Zambia has not recorded any COVID-19 case, the government has heightened its preparedness and surveillance against the COVID-19. (Xinhua)

The Zambian government said on Wednesday that there will be no mass testing for COVID-19 despite a surge in cases and deaths in the third wave.

Mass testing remains discouraged as it is impractical, not cost-effective and unsustainable, Kennedy Malama, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health in charge of Technical Services said in a statement.

He said resources were scarce and must be used prudently in line with the algorithms and testing guidelines and urged the public to support the guidance provided by health authorities.

The government, he said, was committed to controlling the pandemic using the multisectoral approach, adding that more personal protective equipment, essential medicines and supplies as well as oxygen, oxygen cylinders are expected as funds from both the government and cooperating partners are available.

The country’s cumulative cases stand at 154,948 following 2,892 new cases recorded in the last 24 hours. A total of 61 people died during the same period, bringing the total deaths to 2,199.

A total of 3,482 patients were discharged, bringing the total recoveries to 131,792. Enditem

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