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Minister of Health Updates National Assembly on Resurgence of COVID-19 in Zambia

In a ministerial statement delivered to the National Assembly on March 5th, 2024, Hon. Sylvia Masebo, Minister of Health, addressed the resurgence of COVID-19 in Zambia and outlined the government’s response to the evolving situation.

Masebo began by acknowledging the commitment of the Zambian government, under the leadership of President Hakainde Hichilema, to prioritize public health security. 

She emphasized the importance of a healthy population for national prosperity and highlighted the effectiveness of Zambia’s multidisciplinary and multisectoral epidemic response system.

The Minister reported an increase in COVID-19 cases, particularly among individuals presenting flu-like symptoms. Despite significant vaccination efforts, which saw over 80% of eligible population vaccinated within five months of the government’s leadership in the health sector, the transmission of COVID-19 has persisted. 

Masebo noted that while Zambia’s vaccine coverage surpasses global and regional averages, immunity wanes over time, leaving the population vulnerable.

She highlighted the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, particularly in Copperbelt Province and hotspot districts like Chingola, Chililabombwe, and Mufulira. Masebo expressed regret over the recorded deaths, emphasizing that all deceased individuals were unvaccinated against COVID-19.

Furthermore, the Minister addressed outbreaks in schools, including Kapiri Mposhi Girls Technical School, Chisamba Boarding School, and Nchelenge Secondary School. 

She provided details of the measures taken by the government to control the situation, including increased surveillance, isolation of infected students, and health education on prevention measures.

Masebo reassured the public that Zambia’s health facilities are prepared to handle severe cases, with improved oxygen supply systems and reactivated treatment centers across provinces. 

She highlighted ongoing efforts such as enhanced disease surveillance, genomic sequencing to track variants, and wastewater surveillance to detect the virus.

In conclusion, the Minister emphasized that COVID-19 remains a threat and urged the public to adhere to preventive precautions. She reiterated the government’s commitment to the health and well-being of the population.

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