LUSAKA, June 14 (Xinhua) -- Health authorities in Zambia on Monday threatened to impose restrictions if the current rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths continue.
"What we see today is that members of the public expect restrictions and indeed a lockdown to be effected for us to stem the COVID-19 infections. We would like to remind our people that government is seriously considering imposing these restrictions at the rate we are progressing as a country," Kennedy Malama, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health in charge of Technical Services said.
According to him, striking a balance between saving lives and the economy remains a top priority but warned that the government will not allow a situation where people will continue flouting the public health guidelines.
The country's health care system has been overwhelmed following the emergence of the third wave over three weeks ago, with increased admissions, very sick patients and deaths.
In the last 24 hours, the country recorded 1,388 new cases out of 7,110 tests done. This brings the cumulative cases to 113,134.
Meanwhile, the World Bank has provided Zambia with resources for the creation of additional isolation spaces using pre-fabricated structures as the country's health facilities get overwhelmed.
The official said the Global Fund has provided finance for the purchase of 2,000 oxygen cylinders as more people were now in need of oxygen.
According to him, 442 patients out of the 664 admitted to isolation facilities are on oxygen therapy, with 105 in critical conditions.