Zambia has in the last 24 hours recorded 773 new cases of Covid-19 out of 5,817 tests conducted in ten districts. The daily positivity rate has reduced from seventeen percent (17%) at the beginning of the week, to thirteen percent (13%).

In a statement issued to the media, Minister of Health Jonas Chanda said the accumulative number of confirmed cases recorded to date now stands at 68,454.

“Over the past few days, we have seen a reduction in the number of active cases. Additionally, there has been a reduction in the number of admissions from close to 500 to now having admissions in the 300s,” he said.

Dr Chanda stated that 1273 recovered patients have since been discharged from both home management and COVID-19 isolation facilities bringing the accumulative number of recoveries to 62,575.

The Minister said the country has on the sad note recorded nine COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours making the accumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths recorded to date 940.

“We have 4,939 active cases. The number of active cases has been reducing consistently for the past nine days and it is our hope that this will continue,” he said.

The Minister indicated that out of the active cases, 369 are admitted to COVID-19 isolation facilities, with 256 on oxygen therapy and 45 in critical condition.

He added that the remaining 4, 570 cases are under community management.

Dr Chanda highlighted that the reduction in the number of positivity cases gives hope that the curve can be flattened if everyone worked together in fighting the pandemic.

He urged people not to relax in the fight against COVID-19 but instead sustain the collective efforts and ensure that COVID-19 is put to an end.

He assured the general public and the frontline staff that the Ministry remains committed to ensure that essential supplies which includes personal protective equipment, reagents and oxygen are stocked.

The Minister stressed that contact tracing remains key in the effort to stop community transmission.

He explained that the ministry is exploring the use of contact tracing apps to efficiently trace all those who have been in contact with a confirmed case.

Dr Chanda encouraged everyone that tests positive to inform their close contacts so that they too may be tested and given the necessary guidance.

He said it is encouraging to see that people who were previously still in denial about the virus have now joined the fight against COVID-19.

“Our Mask Up Campaign has seen many of our community heroes and celebrities alike come out on different social media platforms to support the movement,” explained the Minister.

The Minister thanked everyone helping in the fight against the pandemic and urged them not to relent in their efforts.

He urged everyone to stay safe by adhering to the five golden rules of masking, hand washing, sanitizing, avoiding crowded places and seeking medical attention early.

Dr Chanda advised everyone to continue with the use of proven home remedies like steaming and practicing health habits.

Zambia on Friday the 12th of February recorded 1,083 new COVID-19 case, 1,313 recoveries and 14 deaths.