Government says a ninth aspect to the COVID -19 response strategy will be added in the form of the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccination programme for Zambia.
Minister of Health Jonas Chanda revealed to ZANIS in a statement today that government has in principle approved the adoption of the COVID-19 vaccination programme and cabinet approval will provide additional guidance in terms of the vaccine choice, deployment mechanisms and priority groups to target for vaccination.
He explained that the Ministry of Health continues to lay groundwork for possible roll-out with preparations cascaded down to the provinces and lower levels including enhanced community engagement, strong surveillance and pharmacovigilance.
‘’Consultations and engagement with the stakeholders are ongoing, these are government ministries and agencies, cooperating partners, the Church and Non-governmental Organisations among others,’’ Dr Chanda Explained.
Dr Chanda explained that there has been an increase in the diagnostic capacity throughout the country with testing capacity and laboratory infrastructure established in every province throughout the country.
He indicated that the domestication of the testing algorithm has ensured the sustained provision of testing facilities throughout the pandemic.
‘’In addition, our response has relied heavily on risk communication and community engagement through which we have been able to reach congregate settings such as markets, bus stations, schools and churches,’’ said Dr Chanda.
Dr Chanda pointed out that logistics and supply chain management play a crucial role in ensuring that the frontlines are adequately equipped to mount an effective response to a possible third wave.
‘’As such our supply chain projections have been forecasted for well beyond June to ensure continued commodity security in all the provinces in the country,’’ explained Dr Chanda.
However, the Minister announced the COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hour in the country as Zambia having recorded 387 new case out of the 6,381 tests conducted bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases recorded up to date to 85,889 and 5 deaths bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths to 1,175 as it stands.