Chief Government Spokesperson Dora Siliya has said that it is not a crime for a political party to use its regalia to make face masks as long as it is intended to save the lives of people.
Ms. Siliya said all political parties, religious groups, and ethnic groups should unite to fight the pandemic, adding that the time for politicking is not now as the country is struggling to eliminate the disease which has affected everyone regardless of their political affiliation.
Ms. Siliya further explained that the move by political parties and religious groups to donate towards the fight against COVID-19 is encouraging and that it should continue.
Ms Siliya also has appealed to public transport owners to adhere to the directive of operating at 50 per cent capacity in line with the social distancing measure.
Ms. Siliya, who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, stated that the government spared public transportation business from suspension because it was deemed as an essential business hence the need for the operators to follow the health guideline.
Meanwhile, Zambia has in the last 24 hours recorded four new laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 to bring the total number of cases to 52.
This is the second time Zambia has recorded four confirmed cases of COVID-19 in one day from the time the disease broke out in the country last month.
Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya said during an update in Lusaka today that of the four cases, one is linked to the Makeni family who tested positive to the virus recently while another is from Kafue where a mass screening is currently going on.
Dr. Chitalu said another new case involves a 10-year-old girl of Kabwe, whose family hosted Lusaka based visitors from Marapodi compound where the virus is suspected to have emanated from.
He said the fourth case is a 19-year-old female of Bauleni compound who was admitted to Chilenje clinic and tested positive thereafter.
The minister explained that all four new cases have since been isolated in the facilities.
The total number of active cases under care in isolations centres is now 20 with 16 of them being stable.
He said all the contacts to the new cases are being tracked by the health personnel in the field so that they can be investigated and screened for the virus.
“Our teams are currently in the field to investigate contacts to the 19-year-old female of Bauleni and the 10-year-old of Kabwe and the family that visited them. We will screen all the contacts that include neighbors and all those who came in contact with them. Please, cooperate with our teams in the field,” Dr. Chilufya emphasized.
He observed that the move to start testing all patients who present symptoms of COVID-19 in health facilities in Lusaka is bearing fruits as the new cases have been picked up using the new formula.
He said government will continue to encourage all public health facilities to test anyone who presents symptoms such as fever and flu.
The Minister said early detection of the virus could help disrupt the spread of the pandemic.
Dr. Chilufya reiterated that the possibilities of people contracting the disease on public transport are high especially if the passengers do not mask-up.