(Xinhua) — The Zambian government said Tuesday that the country was bracing for a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, trying to do everything possible to avert it.
Minister of Health Jonas Chanda said the country should brace for the third wave with the coming of the cold season in June or July.
“Government is putting in all preventive and treatment measures since we remain with yet a small window in which to ensure we are adequately prepared to avert the situation,” he said during a COVID-19 update press briefing.
He said the government remains vigilant and was closely monitoring the situation in East Africa where the third wave has started due to frequent travel between Zambia and the region.
The health ministry has since secured an additional 237,000 Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kits with an additional 450,000 expected before the end of this month to ramp up testing, said the official.
While stressing there will be no mandatory mass vaccination of people against the COVID-19 pandemic, Chanda said the program will be conducted in a cautious, voluntary and phased manner after it was agreed on in principle for the introduction of the vaccine which still awaits cabinet approval.
Zambia recorded 290 new cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the cumulative cases to 85,240. This was out of 4,283 tests done, representing a 7 percent positivity while three deaths were recorded during the same period, bringing the total deaths to 1,167.
About 57 patients were discharged, bringing the total recoveries to 82,432 while 1,641 were active cases.