Sun, 02 Oct 2022

Zambia removes most COVID-19 restrictions

09 Sep 2022, 02:05 GMT+10

LUSAKA, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Zambian government on Thursday announced that it was lifting most of the COVID-19 restrictions due to reduced cases of the pandemic.

The country has lifted restrictions on the mandatory wearing of face masks, public gatherings and physical distancing, Minister of Health Sylvia Masebo said during a press briefing in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia.

She said a review of the COVID-19 situation in recent weeks has shown reduced incidences, with less number of cases, less hospitalization, and related deaths. The positivity rate has remained below five percent in the last month, indicating that the pandemic was under control, she added.

However, she said the wearing of face masks will be restricted to high-risk areas such as health facilities.

She added that testing will be restricted to those with symptoms and those admitted to facilities, as well as those traveling to countries that require a certificate to prove negativity.

"Zambia has done well in its response to the COVID-19 through an aggressive multi-sectoral strategy," she noted.

While acknowledging the social and economic challenges brought by the restrictions imposed, the minister said the restrictions were necessitated by the prevailing burden of the disease and threats of escalation if left unchecked.

Since the outbreak of the first case in March 2020, Zambia has experienced four waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has recorded a cumulative 333,180 cases, 328,810 recoveries, and 4,017 deaths.

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