Nation Correspondent in Lusaka
Zambia’s Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya tested positive for the new coronavirus Tuesday as the country’s confirmed cases surpassed the 1,000 mark.
He becomes the second high-profile individual to come out publicly after his Information counterpart Dora Siliya revealed her status on Sunday.
Dr Chilufya is in self-isolation, Secretary to the Cabinet Simon Miti told journalists in Lusaka.
Dr Miti also announced that the country had in the last five days recorded 137 new Covid-19 cases bringing the cumulative number to 1,057.
At one point, the country had shut its border with Tanzania at the Nakonde-Tunduma border point after recording more than seventy cases on a single day.
The landlocked State of 17 million people never went into a lockdown but imposed restrictions which included closing of bars, casinos, gyms and schools.
But two weeks ago, President Lungu allowed reopening of gyms and casinos but not bars, saying the country had to find a way of carrying on amidst the pandemic.
Universities remain closed but examination classes for secondary and primary schools will resume on June 1.
Lungu said the country’s economy was “choking” due to inactivity.
Zambia is grappling with a huge Chinese debt and a slowdown in economic activity following the Covid-19 outbreak.