The Zambian government has revealed that health facilities are already being strained as the third wave of the Coronavirus pandemic takes its toll.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Kennedy Malama, stated that a new specialised hospital with a 163-bed capacity will be opened on Saturday in Lusaka, the capital.
Mr Malama noted that the establishment of the new hospital was to accommodate the increased number of admissions.
He said the evolving epidemiological scenario has 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.
“It is becoming evident that this third wave is moving at an unprecedented pace.
“Barely three weeks into it, and we are already seeing facilities receiving higher numbers of COVID-19 admissions, more than we saw during the previous waves.”
According to Mr Malama, the number of severe cases and those requiring oxygen has continued to rise on a daily basis.
He appealed for strict adherence to preventive measures as laxity is blamed on the surge in cases.
In the previous 24 hours, cumulative cases rose to 98,376 after 988 new cases were recorded while 194 patients were discharged bringing total recoveries to 92,514.
Nine deaths were recorded during the period taking the toll to 1,297, out of which 734 are classified as COVID-19 deaths and 563 as deaths related to COVID-19.
The country now has 4,565 active cases, 4,366 of which are under home management while 199 are treated at various COVID-19 facilities.