Zambia reports 3,394 new COVID-19 cases as medical oxygen shortage looms

Source: Xinhua| 2021-06-17 21:24:38|Editor: huaxia
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LUSAKA, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Zambia on Thursday reported 3,394 new confirmed COVID-19 cases as the third wave continues to take its toll on the southern African nation, its health ministry said.

Meanwhile, the country has secured 1 million U.S. dollars from the Global Fund for the medical oxygen needed for COVID-19 patients.

The new cases were picked from 16,002 tests done during the period representing a positivity rate of 21.2 percent.

The country's cumulative cases now stand at 122,244 while 33 people died during the period, bringing the total deaths to 1,525. And 1,462 patients were discharged from hospital, bringing the total recoveries to 101,885.

"The past four weeks have been so difficult for our country as the COVID-19 situation has been worsening. As if this is not enough, the last five days have even been more trying," said Kennedy Malama, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health in charge of Technical Services, during a COVID-19 press briefing. "The unprecedented loss of lives we are seeing countrywide is truly heart-breaking."

He, however, assured that the government was doing everything possible to bring the situation under control and urged citizens to cooperate with the measures announced Wednesday aimed at fighting the pandemic.

According to him, the health facilities remain full to capacity while the country's medical oxygen supply was constrained.

He said the funds secured from the Global Fund will go a long way in addressing the oxygen problem but appealed for more support from cooperating partners.

According to the ministry, the country's active cases stand at 18,834, with 18,001 under community management and 833 admitted to various isolation facilities. Enditem