One out of every three to four people has been infected with COVID-19 in Zambia, the government announced on Monday.
The southern African country of 18 million has now a case positivity rate of 28% and cannot not sustain mass COVID-19 testing due to limited kits, Health Minister Sylvia Masebo told reporters in the capital Lusaka during a routine update on the coronavirus situation.
Only highly symptomatic people will be prioritized for testing, along with healthcare workers and those in institutionalized settings such as correctional facilities, boarding schools, and training camps, she said.
“As a country, we are going through a challenging phase of limited availability of diagnostic testing kits for COVID-19 because of supply shortages due to the pandemic itself as there has been increased global and local demand for the testing kits and other supplies required for response,” Masebo said.
Zambia is experiencing the fourth wave of COVID-19 and has so far recorded nearly 284,400 cases, including over 3,800 deaths.