NUMBERS don’t lie, from a daily average of less than a 100 jumping to 1,000 confirmed Covid-19 daily cases in the space of a week is terrifying.
Worse still, Lusaka has seen it’s health facilities come under strain.
Last Friday, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary in charge of technical services Kennedy Malama, said a new specialised hospital with a 163-bed capacity will be opened on Saturday in Lusaka, the capital, to accommodate the increased number of admissions.
He said the evolving epidemiological scenario had resulted in the ministry capacitating all Covid-19 clusters in order to deal with the disease burden.
All provinces have been directed to ramp up preparedness and response as it is evident that the country is facing an unusual situation, Malama said.
“It is becoming evident that this third wave is moving at an unprecedented pace. Barely three weeks into it, we are already seeing facilities receiving higher numbers of COVID-19 admissions, more than we saw during the previous waves,” he said in a release on the Covid-19 situation in the country.
The number of severe cases and those requiring oxygen has continued to increase on a daily basis, Malama said, calling for strict adherence to preventive measures as laxity is blamed on the surge in cases.
The Covid-19 fatalities have also gone up wit
The World Health Organisation has indicated the need for more vaccines to be secured as Covid-19 cases surge.
Africa has 2.9 per cent of cases globally, it accounts for 3.7 per cent of deaths.
Weak observance of preventive measures likely contributed to the crisis, along with increased population movement and interaction, and the arrival of winter in southern Africa.
In the last two weeks, the continent has recorded a 20 per cent increase in coronavirus infections, compared to the previous fortnight. “The pandemic is trending upwards in 14 countries and in the past week alone (and) eight countries witnessed an abrupt rise of over 30 per cent in cases,” WHO said in a statement.
South Africa has seen “a sustained increase in cases”, while Uganda reported a 131 per cent week-on-week rise last week “with infection clusters in schools, rising cases among health workers and isolation centres and intensive care units filling up”.
Angola and Namibia have also witnessed a resurgence in cases, WHO said, noting that 48.6 million doses have been received in Africa and 31.4 million doses have been administered in 50 countries on the continent.
Only around two per cent of the population has received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, compared with the 24 per cent global figure.
We can see from around the continent tha Covid-19 is still a threat and so we must individually take up the fight.
We must all play our part in ensuring adherence to the five golden rules if we are to protect the health and wellbeing of our people. Remember to: 1) Mask up correctly and consistently; 2) Maintain physical distance; 3) Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer; 4) Avoid crowded places if possible, particularly super spreader events, or stay at home; and 5) Seek medical attention early if you are symptomatic.
The third wave is here and the only way to curtail its spread is by being responsible and adhering to public health guidelines. Let us not be blind to to the truth. This will ensure that we do not become just another number in the Covid-19 daily report.