Zambia has recorded the new Indian variant B.1.617 Covid 19 in a male aged 42, who travelled from India to Zambia.
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Dr. Kennedy Malama says owing to the high alert at the points-of-entry out of the over 6,000 persons screened, 45 were denied entry, 301 had to undergo mandatory testing and 98 were admitted to the 14-day mandatory self-quarantine.
And Dr. Malama has disclosed that due to the increased cases of Covid 19 in India, Zambia has temporary suspended the Astrazeneca vaccine inoculation in view of reserving the remaining stocks for those in need of the second dose.
Dr. Malama says the country is likely to encounter challenges in the acquisition of Astrazeneca vaccine through the Covax facility hence the decision to ring-fence the remaining doses for use as second dose for members of the public who have already received the first dose.
He has however assured the nation that his office is engaging various stakeholders including African Center for Disease Control and prevention, Diplomatic channels, the private sector among others in line with cabinet approval to mobilize more vaccines for the country.
Dr. Malama notes with concern that there has been an increase in positive cases with 60 people testing positive in last 24 hours and 3 deaths recorded.