President Edgar Lungu has authorized the recruitment of 3,400 health personnel in order to enhance measures aimed at curbing the further spread of the coronavirus in the country.
Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya disclosed that the recruitment that commenced yesterday will comprise of 400 doctors and 3,000 paramedics that will scale up and support response against COVID-19.
Dr. Chilufya added that President Lungu has also directed that incentives be provided for health workers who are at the frontline amidst the fight against the pandemic.
He said the move was aimed at motivating and supporting the courageous health workers who are diligently serving and protecting the nation from the deadly disease.
“The government of the Republic of Zambia under President Lungu continues to place health security at the apex of its health agenda to protect the public from any health hazards. To this effect, we are executing a scalable plan that is sensitive to the data that we get as the epidemic evolves in Zambia,” he said.
The minister revealed that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 still remains at 36 as the country has not recorded any new case in the last 24 hours.
He stated his ministry conducted 99 laboratory tests among the persons who got into contact with the confirmed cases and all have come out negative.
Dr. Chilufya added that five cases that were tested due to public alert have been discharged.
He noted that among the 36 confirmed cases under isolation, 35 are exhibiting mild or no symptoms, while one case still remains on oxygen but not deteriorating.
The minister said to intensify measures, screening at all points of entry have been enhanced through identification of rapid response teams that are able to fast track screening and testing for drivers carrying essential commodities so as not to disrupt trade.
Dr. Chilufya further revealed that government has secured a suitable place for trucks carrying commodities into the country through Livingstone and other border points when drivers are in quarantine for 14 days.
He has continued to urge the public to take preventive measures as advised by his ministry so that the country can minimize the risk of person to person contraction.
Meanwhile, more stakeholders have continued to supplement government efforts in the fight against the pandemic.
ZCCM-IH donated an ambulance to be used for referring patients, while the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority made a donation of hand sanitizers valued at K50, 000.
And the National Health Insurance Management Authority has donated over K2 million advance claims provided to three hospitals, while Biomedical Association of Zambia has contributed 300 laboratory coats and 600 masks for health personnel.
Meanwhile, a global picture shows that over 859,000 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded, resulting in about 42,400 deaths as of yesterday.
Africa has recorded 61, 018 cases, and about 199 deaths in 50 countries and territories.