Fifteen Zambian lawmakers, 11 parliamentary staff contract COVID-19

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Workers disinfect the Zambezi market in Lusaka, capital of Zambia, May 15, 2020. (Xinhua/Martin Mbangweta)

Fifteen lawmakers and 11 members of staff at the Zambian parliament have tested positive for COVID-19, the health minister said on Friday, days after the assembly suspended sittings because a lawmaker had died of the respiratory disease.

Zambia’s coronavirus cases have surged to 3,856 from 1,632 at the beginning of July, with deaths rising to 136 from 30 over the same period, minister Chitalu Chilufya told reporters.

The heavily indebted southern African country, the No. 2 copper producer on the continent, is bracing for an economic contraction of over 4% this year because of the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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