LUSAKA, Zambia

Zambia on Wednesday started the second round of COVID-19 vaccination, giving its citizens the second dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Kennedy Malama, Health Ministry’s permanent secretary, launched the program in the capital Lusaka.

“Members of the public are reminded to re-calculate the date of their second dose, which should be 70 days after the first dose,” he said.

More than 142,089 people have so far received their first doses in the Southern African nation, which is grappling with the third wave of the pandemic.

Malama said the country recorded 3,367 new COVID-19 cases out of 12,952 tests conducted in the past 24 hours, bringing the cumulative number of confirmed cases to 137,026.

He reported 50 new deaths, bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 related deaths to 1,794, while 1,265 more people recovered from the disease, bringing the recoveries to 113,109.

“We now have 22,123 active cases, of whom 20,918 are under community management and 1,205 are admitted to our COVID-19 isolation facilities. Among those currently under admission, 832 are on oxygen therapy and 166 are in a critical condition,” he said.

He said the Zambian government has released kwacha 40 million ($1.8 million) to support oxygen availability across the country.

Meanwhile, the funeral parlors association of Zambia raised alarm of stressed operations due to the record number of daily COVID-19-related deaths.

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