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#Malawi Covid-19 Update, August 23, 2021: 153 new cases, 8 deaths

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 153 new COVID-19 cases, 169 new recoveries and eight new deaths. All cases are locally transmitted: 33 from Zomba, 28 from Lilongwe, 23 each from Blantyre and Mzimba North, 14 from Mzimba South, 10 from Dedza, seven from Mulanje, five from Ntcheu, two each from Karonga and Mchinji, and one each from Chikwawa, Chiradzulu, Kasungu, Machinga, Mangochi, and Nkhata Bay Districts.

Eight new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours; five from Lilongwe, and one each from Mangochi, Salima, and Phalombe Districts.

To the families that have lost their loved ones during this pandemic, may you find peace, hope and love during this difficult time. May the souls of the departed rest in peace.

Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 59,624 cases including 2,082 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.49%). Of these cases, 2,600 are imported infections and 57,024 are locally transmitted.

Cumulatively, 45,721 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 76.7%) and 232 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 11,589. In the past 24 hours, there were 14 new admissions in the treatment units while 17 cases were discharged.

Currently, a total of 228 active cases are currently hospitalised: 54 in Lilongwe, 43 in Blantyre, 24 in Zomba, 19 in Mzimba North, nine in Thyolo, seven in Mulanje, six each in Mangochi, Mchinji, and Nsanje, five each in Dowa, Balaka, Chiradzulu, Rumphi, and Chitipa, four each in Nkhata Bay, Karonga, and Mzimba South, two each in Salima, Kasungu, Neno, Nkhotakota, Ntcheu, Phalombe, and Ntchisi, and one each in Dedza, Machinga, and Chikwawa Districts.

On testing, in the past 24 hours, 1,248 COVID-19 tests were conducted. Of these, 842 tests were through SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Diagnostic test while the rest were through RT-PCR.

The positive cases out of the total number tested (past 24 hours) translates to a positivity rate of 12.3% while a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 14.9%.

Cumulatively, 378,191 tests have been conducted in the country so far. On COVID-19 vaccination, a total of 827,886
vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far.

Cumulatively 466,999 and 192,574 people have received the first dose and second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine respectively while 168,312 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Over the past 24 hours, zero and 57 people have received first dose and second of AstraZeneca vaccine respectively while 213 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Cumulatively, 360,886 people are fully vaccinated.

We are observing a downward trend in the number of new COVID-19 cases, those admitted in the treatment units, the positivity rate while at the same time the number of those dying from COVOD-19 remains high. At this point, I would like to appeal to everyone to play a role to sustain the downward trend so that we reduce further the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

We are still experiencing community transmission in most parts of the country and we still have over 11,000 active cases, the risk of rapid transmission remains high.

There is need for everyone to strictly adhere to the preventive and containment measures. In order to reduce the spread of the disease in our midst, it is important that we identify by testing those that have the disease, isolate
them and provide appropriate care depending on the severity of the disease. The contacts of the confirmed cases have to be tested as well and should quarantine for 14 days.

Let me emphasize that, it is important to report for medical screening if you show any COVID-19 symptoms and the most common symptoms include fever, dry cough, tiredness while some patients will present with aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, headache, loss of taste or smell, a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes.

When one experiences these symptoms, there is need to have a COVID-19 test. This will help us to identify the disease in early stages so that appropriate care can be given immediately. If one experiences the following serious
symptoms; difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, loss of speech or movement they should seek medical attention urgently.

The public is also requested to report any deaths with unexplained cause to health authorities or report by calling toll free 929.

Let me emphasize that the low figures being reported now should not make us to relax. In order to suppress and reduce the spread of the disease in our midst, we need combined interventions; the adherence of the preventive measures and the vaccination.

Vaccinations have been the biggest public health intervention that has prevented the highest number of deaths and it has been used to eradicate diseases such as smallpox and polio.

The public is further informed that we have adequate stocks of COVID-19 vaccines in all vaccination sites both The AstraZeneca Vaccine and the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Apart from the vaccinations, there is need for each one of us (regardless of being vaccinated or not) to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 preventive and containment measures. This calls for enhanced preventive and containment measures that;

  1. Promote social/physical distancing to keep ourselves and others safe,
  2. promote frequent hand washing with soap to keep our hands clean all the time,
  3. reduce spreading of the virus by wearing face masks properly and coughing appropriately
    No one is safe until everyone else is safe. Get Vaccinated! Wear Face Mask! Protect yourself. Protect
    your loved ones. Protect everyone. Call toll free 929.

Hon. Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, MP, MINISTER OF HEALTH

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