Zambia has recorded its first death from coronavirus, and the number of confirmed cases has risen by three to 39, Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya said on Thursday.
“The same patient had an underlying chronic respiratory disorder and a history of travel to South Africa and contact with some cohorts who travelled to high-risk countries prior to his admission,” Chilufya said at a news conference.
Chilufya said the three new cases registered in the southern African country had all got the virus from people who had travelled abroad.
Speaking during the COVID-19 press briefing today, Health Minister, Chitalu Chilufya said the victim died around 02 hours this morning. Dr Chilufya, who gave the victim a moment of silence, said that the deceased had an underlying health condition.
Dr. Chilufya said out of the 160 tests conducted in the last 24 hours, the country confirmed Three.
The Minister said the lastest is a couple and a pharmacist. Dr Chilufya said the cases are from secondary contacts, which confirms the human to human transmission.
Dr. Chilufya also warned media houses that keep pursuing suspected COVID -19 patients against violation of the rights to privacy and the risk of exposure to the virus.
Dr Chilufya called on Market Managers to ensure that the measures that have been instituted by the government such as social distance are observed.
The Minister said overcrowding and non-observance of the regulations will lead to the closing of the trading facilities as this is authorized under the Public Health Act and Statutory Instruments 21 and 22.
Africa has now registered almost 6,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 200 deaths. The continent is already suffering a huge economic impact from lockdowns aiming to contain the virus and a sharp fall in global demand for commodities.
African governments including Zambia had become heavily indebted in the decade before the virus struck and are seeking support from the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and EU for wide-ranging debt relief.
Zambia’s finance ministry said this week it was looking for advisors to make its $11.2 billion of external debt more sustainable.
Meanwhile, Chief Government Spokesperson, Dora Siliya has called on Media personnel to exhibit high levels of professionalism and avoid following persons that are suspected to be suffering from the COVID-19.
Ms Siliya advised Zambians to avoid stigmatizing the COVID-19, urging the media to remain focused and help Government in sensitizing the public on the COVID-19.
She also stressed that it does not pay for anyone to be hiding numbers of the people affected with the disease as Government is worried with the number of cases in the country.
Ms Siliya Siliya, who is also Information and Broadcasting Services, called on everyone to support governments interventions and take responsibility.