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COVID-19 cases scale-up in Zambia – Gov’t denies 61 people entries

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A security officer and a church attendee wash hands at Regina Pacis Parish Catholic church in Chawama, Lusaka, capital of Zambia, Feb. 14, 2021.

Health authorities in Zambia said on Thursday that 61 people were denied entry as the country tightens its surveillance guidelines due to increased cases of COVID-19.

Kennedy Malama, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health for Technical Services said the strengthened surveillance at entry points resulted in the screening of over 6,000 travelers out of which 500 were placed under self-isolation while 61 were denied entry.

The health ministry has revised point of entry surveillance guidelines that require all travelers to produce SARS-COV-2 negative certificates.

He said during a COVID-19 update press briefing that the country was seeing an increase in the number of new daily cases mostly from social gatherings which are super spreaders.

He warned that the increased daily cases will put pressure on the country’s health facility and health personnel as was experienced during the second wave.

“It is important that the reported variants of concern in our country are also going to have an impact on the evolution of the COVID-19 situation and we will continue with our routine genomic sequencing as part of the routine surveillance,” he said.

The country recorded 320 new cases in the last 24 hours out of 6,988 tests. This brings the cumulative cases to 93,947 while 82 patients were discharged bringing the total recoveries to 91,321.

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