LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 57 new COVID-19 cases, 60 new recoveries and three new deaths. All new cases are locally transmitted: 20 from Lilongwe, 12 from Blantyre, six from Mzimba North, four from Chikwawa, three from NKhata Bay, two each from Chitipa, Karonga, Mangochi, and Zomba, and one each from Chiradzulu, Dowa, Mchinji, and Ntchisi Districts.

Three new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours: one each from Zomba, Mzimba South, and Chiradzulu Districts. All new deaths were not vaccinated.

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 61,052 cases including 2,232 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.66%). Of these cases, 2,616 are imported infections and 58,436 are locally transmitted.

Cumulatively, 50,152 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 82.2%) and 232 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 8,436.

In the past 24 hours, there were eight new admissions (six new admissions are not vaccinated, one received on dose of AstraZeneca while one is fully vaccinated) in the treatment units while two cases were discharged.

Currently, a total of 79 active cases are currently hospitalised (of these, eight cases are in critical condition of which seven are not vaccinated while one got a single dose of AstraZeneca vaccine): 21 in Lilongwe, 11 in Blantyre, nine in Mzimba North, seven each in Zomba and Karonga, three each in Mchinji and Thyolo, two each in Salima, Dowa, Mulanje, and Neno, and one each in Mangochi, Nkhata Bay, Balaka, Dedza, Nkhotakota, Ntcheu, Chiradzulu, Phalombe, Chikwawa, and Nsanje Districts.

On testing, in the past 24 hours, 887 COVID-19 tests were conducted. Of these, 446 tests werethrough 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 6.4% while a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 5.4%. Cumulatively, 395,426 tests have been conducted in the country so far.

On COVID-19 vaccination, a total of 933,541 vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far. Cumulatively 485,541 and 225,772 people have received the first dose and second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine
respectively while 222,228 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Over the past 24 hours, 1,823 and 1,938 people have received first dose and second of AstraZeneca vaccine
respectively while 1,961 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Cumulatively, 448,000 people are fully vaccinated.

We continue to observe a downward trend in the number of COVID-19 new cases, admissions in the treatment units as well as the positivity rate.

Though this is the case, we have also observed that there is stigma and discrimination towards those that have been diagnosed with COVID-19, their contacts, their families and those that have recovered from the disease. This is worrisome as it may compromise the efforts to suppress the disease in our country as some people may not follow all the preventive and containment measures i.e. self-isolation and quarantine for fear of being stigmatized. Stigma can prevent people from getting tested for COVID-19 fearing stigmatization. And it can make life very difficult for the families of people who have had COVID-19, when others victimize the individual and the family even after they
have recovered.

It has also been observed that other people though they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 unfortunately are not following all the measures to contain the further spread of the disease to others thereby exposing a large number of people to the virus.

Let me emphasize that everyone is at risk of contracting the disease and there is no need to stigmatize one another,
if you have been exposed to the virus, it is important to seek health care and get the appropriate advice and care, there is no need to hide or to be afraid of stigma.

We need to act in unity to stop the spread of the disease in our midst in order to save more lives. No one
is safe until everyone else is safe. The time to act is now.

We also need to provide psychosocial support to the people that have being diagnosed with COVID-19 disease and their families. Helping them stay connected to their loved one through phones or messaging can provide comfort during the period they are under isolation.

Similarly, losing someone we love is always difficult. Our hearts go out to families that have lost loved ones due to COVID-19. May you find peace, hope and love during this difficult times.

If you feel stressed during this period, please seek psychosocial support by calling your nearest facility or by calling toll free 929. For COVID-19 Vaccination certificate queries please call toll free 929 or email eoc.health@mail.gov.mw

Hon. Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, MP, MINISTER OF HEALTH
CO-CHAIRPERSON – PRESDENTIAL TASKFORCE

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