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Covid-19: Zambia cases pass 2,000 with 108 deaths recorded

Friday July 17 2020
Zambia

A health worker holds a nasal swab sample to be tested for Covid-19 at a testing centre in Srinagar, India, on July 17, 2020. PHOTO | TAUSEEF MUSTAFA | AFP

By MICHAEL CHAWE

Lusaka,

Zambia’s coronavirus cases Friday passed the 2,000 mark with 108 deaths recorded, the government announced.

Health minister Chitalu Chilufya told Parliament that “in the last 24 hours, 190 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed out of 848 tests”.

Mr Chilufya said 22 hospitalised patients were on oxygen support and that the recoveries numbered 1,434.

He said 84 of the deaths occurred outside hospitals and that the country has conducted a total of 67,096 coronavirus tests so far.

ECONOMIC HIT

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Zambia has been implementing a number of measures to fend off rising cases, including closure of bars and nightclubs.

As a result, the country’s economy has taken a hit, with the gross domestic product expected to shrink by around 4.2 per cent in 2020, more than the 2.6 per cent contraction forecast by the Central Bank in May.

Finance minister Bwalya Ng’andu said sectors including mining, energy, construction, manufacturing, tourism, trade and transport are expected to record poor performances due to the virus.

Schools and colleges remain shut except for examination classes and final year students.

The government warned the public against dropping their guard yet cases of the virus are surging.

Most of Zambia’s cases are in urban areas but there is fear that the disease will spread to rural areas.

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