Zambia has received 81,250 coronavirus test kits from the Global Fund as the southern African nation ramps up its testing capacity, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
The Minister of Health, Jonas Chanda, said that the test kits will last for over six weeks and will go a long way in boosting the country’s testing capacity.
“Testing remains a critical element of our response as it provides a key indicator of the progression of the pandemic.
“It will also serve to identify individuals that need to isolate or seek treatment thereby reducing the likelihood of further spread of infection and ultimately saving lives.
“The ministry is looking to ramp up testing within the framework of targeted testing strategy, using the available Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs) and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) platforms.
“This is to ensure the provision of an accurate picture of the prevailing conditions in communities,’’ Chanda said.
According to the minister, additional stocks of RDTs and testing reagents were expected in the country in the coming weeks to ensure commodity security for the response.
Meanwhile, the country recorded 436 COVID-19 cases out of 4,634 tests done in the past 24 hours.
The country has so far conducted 1,143,003 tests since the outbreak of the pandemic in March last year.
This brings the cumulative cases to 83,333 while 394 patients were discharged bringing the total recoveries to 79,556.
The country, however, lost three people bringing the total deaths to 1,140.
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