Zambia has activated Covid-19 monitoring systems after registering an increase in new cases.
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- Zambia has recorded two Covid-19 deaths this year, with a notable rise in cases.
- The government has issued new Covid-19 treatment guidelines.
- A cholera vaccination drive targeting 1.5 million people is also under way, with support from the World Health Organisation and other partners.
While still battling to control a cholera outbreak, Zambia has also activated Covid-19 monitoring systems after registering an increase in new cases.
In an address to the media, Zambian Health Minister Sylvia Masebo said the move had been triggered by hospital admissions and two deaths in Lusaka and the Copper Belt.
“The positivity rate for those being tested has increased to above 6%. Currently, we have seven patients with Covid-19 in our admission facilities.
“Sadly, we lost one male patient, aged 32, who had severe Covid pneumonia,” she said.
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Dr Kennedy Lishimpi, the permanent secretary for technical services at the Zambian health ministry, has since written to provincial health directors advising them about the emerging Covid-19 situation.
“In addition to the current cholera outbreak, Zambia is experiencing a rise in cases of coronavirus disease. During the first week of January 2024, at least 110 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded.
“This represents a steep rise in the Covid-19 caseload in comparison to the preceding weeks,” he said in a memorandum to regional directors.
The ministry then instructed the use of Remdesivir, an antiviral medicine that works by stopping the virus that causes Covid-19 from growing and spreading in the body, as a secondary treatment “depending on the patient’s age, renal function and concomitant drugs”.
Otherwise, Nirmatrelvir/Ritonavir can be used “only for those with risk factors for progression to severe disease”.
Zambia’s health ministry discouraged the use of antibiotics such as Azithromycin and Cefalexin because “evidence has shown that the indiscriminate use of antibiotics for the virus is not only ineffective but also contributes to the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance”.
Meanwhile, according to government figures, 10 000 people have been infected by a cholera outbreak that has killed at least 432 people since October.
A vaccine effort is under way in the most afflicted districts, with authorities aiming to reach 1.5 million people, including children, health workers and those at high risk of illness.
“The current cholera outbreak requires concerted and collaborative efforts to protect the health and wellbeing of citizens. Our priority is to work closely with the government, local health authorities and cooperating partners to provide immediate support and expertise,” said Dr Nathan Bakyaita, the World Health Organisation representative in Zambia.
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Source link : https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/zambia-issues-new-covid-19-treatment-guidelines-as-cases-riseamid-an-ongoing-cholera-outbreak-20240122
Publish date : 2024-01-22 14:29:24