UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema says he has learned with sadness that five health workers have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Mr Hichilema says the government owes it to medical staff on the frontline of this pandemic to do the right thing and provide the necessary protective equipment.
He said during this challenging time, healthcare staff should be equipped and supported so that they can deliver the right level of care for patients.
“Our thoughts and prayers go to you all our health workers who are working tirelessly to combat this deadly pandemic”, he said.
Mr. Hichilema encouraged those that have tested positive for the pandemic to remain positive and never lose hope in the fight against the pandemic.
Yesterday, Health Minister Dr. Chitalu Chilufya said that five health workers at Levy Mwanawasa Hospital tested positive to COVID-19, out of the 322 test done in the last 24 hours bringing the total cases to 70.
Dr. Chilufya disclosed that the health workers in isolation facilities were tested as part of the routine medical surveillance program after two weeks of duty placement, bringing the total number of affected health workers to 8 who have all since been placed in designated isolation facilities.
Dr. Chilufya further said that President Edgar Lungu has since regretted the sad development and wished the health workers a quick recovery and assured them of his full support.
“In order to minimize the risk of health care workers contracting COVID-19 through exposure in the work environment, we are instituting the following additional stringent measures: Retraining of all staff in Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) practices, assignment of a dedicated senior staff member to enforce compliance to IPC measures, increasing the buffer stock of personal protective equipment (PPE), to guarantee the availability of sufficient PPE supplies for all staff at all times and thorough and regular decontamination of all surfaces,” Dr Chilufya said.
“I would love to encourage and urge the health workers to remain strong as we stand with you and we are confident that you will recover. We encourage you to put in your level best and as a government, we will continue to improve your welfare” Dr. Chilufya assured.
Meanwhile, Dr Chilufya announced that Emmasdale and Chaisa are earmarked for massive screening and increased disinfection of public places such as markets and bus stations and disclosed that 15,000 face masks will be handed to an established consortium for distribution to market traders.
He urged and reiterate that everyone should escalate levels of hygiene and follow the presidential directive to adhere to social distancing and avoid traveling into Lusaka and emphasized the need to wear masks, exercise social distancing and avoid other unnecessary travels in areas which have become hotspots.