Zambia recorded its first case of COVID-19 on 18 March 2020 and, as 8 June 1,200 cases had been confirmed and 10 deaths reported. Out of the 119 districts, 27 districts have reported COVID-19 cases. However, the laboratory system has not enough capacity to test for COVID-19.
The Nakonde District which borders Tanzania is one of the main COVID-19 hotspots with more than 609 cases, more than 50 per cent of the total cases in country. The confirmed cases widely related to cross border interaction with Tanzania, including immigration officers, truck drivers, sex workers, health workers and known contacts. Border capacity to manage risk from ground crossings and un-manned border points has to be strengthened.
Misinformation, and complacency by communities over time remain key concerns.
Technical assistance and logistical support provided to the district health offices in managing event-based surveillance and field investigation continued in Lusaka, Shibuyunji and Chirundu districts.
Four surveillance and IPC technical personnel were deployed to Nakonde and Copperbelt to support the national response.
COVID-19 standard messaging guideline was developed, with the support of partners, on home care of asymptotic cases along with implementation tools.
The Sector has increased the capacity of the call centre which receives calls from the community, addresses information needs, provides line to services, monitor rumours and myths, and monitors contacts and other persons of interest.
Training of health workers, immigration officials and other personnel working at PoE’s in Eastern province was conducted.
A comprehensive Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) Action Plan April to August 2020 is being reviewed.
The Sector has provided support to call centres (an average of 800-1,500 calls received daily), and key messages on COVID-19 Guidance by MOH were developed and distributed to all partners engaged in public health messaging tailoring messaging to health care workers, immigration agents and personnel at POEs, truck drivers, service providers and general population.
Over 400,000 IEC materials on COVID-19 in eight local languages were distributed including 50,000 awareness sessions. Approximately 8 million people have been reached through mass media, community mobilization of community-based volunteers and Neighbourhood Health Committees, call centres and social media outlets.
Develop a national strategy to manage non-symptomatic confirmed cases in the community.
Develop data and information management solution that eases information management across all pillars supporting the national public health operation centre.
The number of sentinel sites for Influenza like symptoms in the country is not proportional to the population density. Thus, there is a need to establish new surveillance site in the country.
There are inadequate health worker and technical personnel with capacity for case management in district other than Lusaka.
The amount of money pledged for strengthening the public health surveillance is not adequate enough to support the government plan.
Due to limited air transportation across the globe, WHO supply chains of medicine and essential kits are very low.