LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 396 new COVID-19 cases, 393 new recoveries and 14 new deaths. All cases are locally transmitted: 107 from Zomba, 95 from Lilongwe, 62 from Blantyre, 14 from Mzimba North, 12 from Karonga, 11 each from Mangochi, Ntcheu, and Salima, nine each from Chikwawa and Rumphi, eight from Nkhata Bay, six each from Chitipa, Kasungu, and Phalombe, four each in Machinga and Mzimba South, three each from Dedza, Dowa, and Nkhotakota, two each from Chiradzulu, Neno, Nsanje, and Thyolo, and one each from Balaka, Mchinji, Mulanje, and Mwanza Districts.

14 new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours; two each from Zomba, Kasungu, Nkhata Bay, and Mchinji, and one each from Neno, Mzimba South, Balaka, Thyolo, Chikwawa, and Nsanje 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 58,861 cases including 2,012 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.42%). Of these cases, 2,596 are imported infections and 56,265 are locally transmitted.

Cumulatively, 44,305 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 75.3%) and 232 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 12,312.

In the past 24 hours, there were 29 new admissions in the treatment units while 22 cases were discharged. Currently, a total of 270 active cases are currently hospitalised: 78 in Lilongwe, 62 in Blantyre, 19 in Mzimba North, 17 in Zomba, nine in Mchinji, eight in Mangochi, seven in Mulanje, six each in Karonga, Mzimba South, Balaka,
Chiradzulu, and Chitipa, five each in Thyolo and Phalombe, three each in Salima, Kasungu, Ntcheu, Rumphi, Nsanje, and Ntchisi, two each in Dowa, Nkhata Bay, Neno, Nkhotakota, and Machinga, and one each in Dedza and Chikwawa Districts.

On testing, in the past 24 hours, 2,073 COVID-19 tests were conducted. Of these, 1,131 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 19.1% while a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 17.9%.

Cumulatively, 372,701 tests have been conducted in the country so far. On COVID-19 vaccination, a total of 768,280 vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far.

Cumulatively 464,810 and 170,122 people have received the first dose and second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine respectively while 133,348 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Over the past 24 hours, 177 and 5,576 people have received first dose and second of AstraZeneca vaccine respectively while 12,389 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Cumulatively, 303,470 people are fully vaccinated. On COVID-19 vaccination, we now have two types of COVID-19 vaccines in our COVID-19 vaccination sites across the country and these are Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccine.

The public is reminded that Johnson and Johnson is a single dose vaccine and one is required to receive
one dose to ensure full protection.

This vaccine is being given to all those that have never received any type of COVID-19 vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine is a two dose vaccine given twice at an interval of 12 weeks apart and let me remind those that have received the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine and are due for the second dose to visit government and CHAM health facilities to get their second dose. For the AstraZeneca vaccine, receiving all the two doses will ensure full protection.

Both vaccines will be given to those that are aged 18 years and above. The health workers at the vaccination
sites will be able to give more information on the vaccines that are available and will be able to respond to different questions that the public may have on the vaccines.

I have noted with regret that we have people that still think that there is no COVID-19 in this country and these have unfortunately not been adhering to the precautionary measures.

This denial of the existence of COVID-19 by these individuals has also led to unfortunate incidences such as violence and aggression towards our health workers and other frontline staff.

Most of these incidences originate from fake propaganda and misinformation that are being circulated by some misguided individuals on COVID-19.

This is very sad and disheartening as our health workers and frontline staff are working tirelessly to save lives. What everyone has to know and accept is that we have COVID19 pandemic in our country and that currently we are battling the third wave of the pandemic.

We are experiencing community transmission and that our response pillars are working hard to stop the spread. I would like to request the public to desist from all sorts of violence and it is my plea to my fellow politicians at all levels, the traditional as well as faith leaders to ensure that people are given the correct information on COVID 19.

I urge the police to quickly investigate these incidents and see that all misguided individuals perpetrating these violent acts are brought to book.

In order to ensure that the transmission is stopped, there is need for all of us to accept the results of the COVID-19 testing and adhere to the advice from the health workers.

The denial that is currently being portrayed by some sections of the society will only make the situation worse. We may lose a lot of people who can be saved if we work in unity.

I would like to appreciate all health workers and frontline staff on the good work that they are doing in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in our country.

So far, our health workers have shown high level of dedication and hard work in the management of the COVID-19 patients, contact tracing, testing, COVID-19 vaccination, risk communication and community engagement and in ensuring that logistics and supplies are available at all levels.

I would like to request to request that this hard working spirit should continue till we defeat this pandemic.
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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