THE severity of the second wave of the pandemic is taking its toll with more patients having to receive oxygen.
More than 200 covid-19 patients are on oxygen therapy in various health facilities while nine have died in the last 24 hours.
Health Minister Jonas Chanda, announced that 206 patients were on oxygen, 16 of them in a critical condition.
“Maina Soko military hospital will admit moderate to less critical patients. The ministry has seconded staff to work with the existing staff at the hospital.
“We also have the Zambia Air Force and the Ministry of Health supporting this strategy and this new development brings hope to improved clinical management as we decongest the Levy Mwanawasa and the UTH isolation centres,” Dr Chanda said.
The Minister said the increasing Covid-19 cases in the country were characterised by increased transmitability and severe disease, requiring hospitalisation and oxygen therapy.
He, therefore, said Government was putting in place measures to ensure adequate space, equipment and staff to work with the existing staff at the hospital.
Dr Chanda however reiterated Government’s multi-sectoral enforcement of public health guidelines and encouraged the use of additional local home-based remedies to manage the less severe and non-symptomatic patients at home.
He called on citizens to participate in ensuring success while Government implemented policies and programmes to support health and economic recovery of the country.
According to the World Health Orgnaisation, the best way to reduce possibilities of the coronavirus spread is to avoid the three Cs – spaces that are closed, crowded or involve close contact.
Outbreaks have been reported in restaurants, choir practices, fitness classes, nightclubs, offices and places of worship where people have gathered, often in crowded indoor settings where they talk loudly, shout, breathe heavily or sing.
The risks of getting Covid-19 are higher in crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces where infected people spend long periods of time together in close proximity. These environments are where the virus appears to spreads by respiratory droplets or aerosols more efficiently, so taking precautions is even more important.
The basic health guidelines are:
• Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. This eliminates germs including viruses that may be on your hands.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and infect you.
• Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately into a closed bin and wash your hands. By following good ‘respiratory hygiene’, you protect the people around you from viruses, which cause colds, flu and Covid-19.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently especially those which are regularly touched, such as door handles, tap handles and phone screens.
With the knowledge that we now have about coronavirus, it is hardly believable that Zambians can claim ignorance.
On buses, in market places, shops, class rooms, offices and even places of worship we must continue to observe the public health guidelines.
By keeping possible infections at a minimum we can assure a healthier population and the resumption of regular daily conduct.
The best option would be to completely avoid leaving the house in order to stop possible infection.
It is well known that a person exposed to Covid-19 requires a 14-day window period in which infection can be confirmed and so what is needed is for the minimising of possible infection to stop the virus in its tracks.
There is no denying that everyone must work together to bring Covid-19 spread to a halt.