Corona here to stay: Mukonka urges strict adherence to prevention measures

S CIENTIFIC evidence has shown that coronavirus will remain prevalent in Zambia for a long time as the country discharges 105 COVID-19 patients and records 34 new cases. According to Zambia National Public Health Institute director Victor Mukonka, the locally generated research indicates that the coronavirus situation may escalate further if citizens do not adhere to prescribed preventive measures.

Giving a routine update on COVID-19 yesterday, Professor Mukonka urged Zambians to always observe preventive measures like social distancing and regular washing of hands with water and soap. “COVID-19 is with us for a long time to come. Our locally generated evidence, informed by our epidemiological data, indicates that the rising trend in the number of coronavirus cases will continue.

“The more we move in with interventions to look for cases, the more you will see numbers going up,” he said. Prof Mukonka urged the public to work with Government in striking a balance between averting the pandemic and keeping economic wheels of the country running by consistently adhering to public health guidelines. And Prof Mukonka said of the 105 COVID-19 patients who have recovered, 94 are from isolation facilities in Nakonde and Chinsali districts. This is the highest number of coronavirus patients to be discharged from isolation facilities in a day since the disease spread to Zambia about three months ago.

“On a good note, we have discharged 105 patients from our isolation facilities, majority of whom are in Muchinga Province. “We have three from Solwezi, seven from Kabwe and one from Levy Mwanawasa Teaching Hospital. The patients have tested negative to COVID-19,” he said. Prof Mukonka also said Zambia’s cumulative number of coronavirus cases has increased to 866 after recording 34 new ones. The 34 new cases are from the 418 tests conducted in the last 24 hours. Of the 34 positive cases, 11 were detected through community screening and testing in Nakonde, while 10 were picked during a similar exercise in Lusaka.

“Four are truck drivers who came into the country through Nakonde border. Three were detected during our hospital surveillance, two in Nakonde and one at University Teaching Hospital. Two are lodge staff in Nakonde,” he said. Prof Mukonka said three are contacts of known positive cases in Nakonde, while one is a health care provider at Nakonde Urban Clinic. Meanwhile, Nakonde residents have been given another two-day humanitarian window from yesterday to today to enable them to stock up food and other essentials as mass screening and testing continues. Prof Mukonka said the nation will be informed on the way forward regarding the Nakonde lockdown once a full assessment o

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