Mazyanga L Mazaba

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A snapshot of COVID-19 in Zambia one year since its first two cases were recorded

Zambia recorded its first 2 cases of COVID-19 in March 2020 and a year into the pandemic had recorded a cumulative 85,889 cases and 1,175 deaths. Of the Deaths, 645 were COVID-19 deaths and the rest were associated with COVID-19 being a secondary co-infection not attributed to the death. An average recovery rate of 94% was observed over the year.

Two peaks, were observed the second wave being larger than the first (figure 1). The second wave was characterized by more cases, increased numbers of patients with severe diseases and a large proportion in critical condition. The death toll also increased during the second wave (figure 3). The factors attributed to the increased second wave include the introduction of new COVID-19 variants, and laxity in compliance to COVID-19 prevention prescribed public health measures.

Zambia continues to experience an ongoing outbreak. Continued surveillance and case finding, testing, isolation or quarantine of positive cases as well as community engagement remain key in averting further transmission of disease.

Figure 1: a snapshot of the epidemic

Figure 2: COVID-19 Cases by Date of Confirmation in Zambia, Mar 2020 – Mar 2021

Figure 3: COVID-19 deaths in Zambia, Mar 2020 – Mar 2021


  1. Zambia Situation Reports
  2. URL: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/zambia/