Today marks one month since the first lab-tested cases of COVID-19 were reported in our nation. Zambia has recorded four (4) new cases of COVID-19 bringing the total to 61. Female, 29 years from Kafue Estates, Male, 55 years from Kafue Railways, Female, 26, years from Libala South, Female, 36, years from Lusaka, Chalala.
Minister of Health Dr Chitalu Chilufya says the 19-year-old girl from Bauleni Compound has died of COVID-19.
And Dr Chilufya says the country has recorded four new cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the cumulative total to 61.
He said of the four new cases, two are from Kafue while the other two are health personnel from Chilenje Hospital.
“We have lost the 19 year old patient who had attempted suicide by consuming a herbicide. The herbicide predominantly causes respiratory distress in addition to failure of other organs. She was in critical state and our specialised team did all they could to manage her condition,” the ministry said in a statement.
Paraquat, the chemical the girl consumed, is a chemical herbicide, or weed killer, that’s highly toxic and used all over the world. It’s also known by the brand name Gramoxone. Paraquat is one of the most common herbicides used today, but it can cause fatal poisoning when ingested or inhaled. It’s primarily used to control weed and grass growth.
Speaking at the latest COVID-19 update Sunday morning, Dr. Chilufya also announced that Zambia has further recorded four (4) new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours bringing the cases to 61.
He said the two cases involve Kafue residents one from Kafue estates and Kafue railways respectively while the other two involve a nurse and a medical licentiate from Chilenje hospital were the deceased was admitted.
He said a total of 397 cases were tested in the last 24 hours out of which 30 were done at Chilenje Clinic which brought out the two positive cases.
He said cumulatively the cases now stand at 61,3 deaths,33 recoveries and 25 active cases.
“The COVID-19 outbreak could be stopped if we follow President Edgar Lungu’s directive by enhancing social distancing, wearing masks, moral discipline. We have recorded 3 deaths and we can record more with poor compliance” Dr. Chilufya said.
He emphasized that Lusaka is an epicenter and discouraged routine and unnecessary visits and another gathering such as funerals and weddings.
“The strategy we have is early detection and we place a high premium on increasing community testing and screening. So you are going to see our teams in all specific areas and it will be increasing by the day” Dr. Chilufya said as he urged for a corporation with health authorities as they come into various communities.
And Dr. Chilufya disclosed that deployment of new health workers is progressing well and that they will be deployed in all ports of entry and said soon they will be seen conducting the massive screening and testing in various places.