LILONGWE-(MaraviPos)-In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 150 new COVID-19 cases, 266 new recoveries and 15 new deaths. All cases are locally transmitted: 30 from Blantyre, 24 from Lilongwe, 23 from Mzimba North, 12 from Dedza, 11 from Zomba, eight from Chitipa, six from Dowa, five each from Mangochi and Neno, four each from Balaka, Nkhata Bay, and Phalombe, three each from Mulanje and Nsanje, two each from Karonga and Thyolo, and one each from Kasungu, Mchinji, Nkhotakota, and Salima Districts.

15 new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours; four from Lilongwe, two each from Mzimba North, Mchinji, and Balaka, and one each from Mulanje, Karonga, Dedza, Phalombe, and Chitipa 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 59,399 cases including 2,059 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.47%). Of these cases, 2,600 are imported infections and 56,799 are locally transmitted.

Cumulatively, 45,396 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 76.4%) and 232 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 11,712.

In the past 24 hours, there were 20 new admissions in the treatment units while 36 cases were discharged. Currently, a total of 256 active cases are currently hospitalised: 69 in Lilongwe, 45 in Blantyre, 26 in Mzimba North, 19 in Zomba, 10 in Mchinji, eight in Karonga, seven each in Mangochi, Mulanje, and Mzimba South, six in Balaka, five each in Dowa, Chitipa, and Nsanje, four each in Kasungu, Neno, Thyolo, Phalombe, and Rumphi, three in Nkhata Bay, two each in Salima, Nkhotakota, Ntcheu, Chiradzulu, Machinga, and Ntchisi, and one each in Dedza and Chikwawa Districts.

On testing, in the past 24 hours, 983 COVID-19 tests were conducted. Of these, 442 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 15.3% while a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 16.4%.

Cumulatively, 376,420 tests have been conducted in the country so far. On COVID-19 vaccination, a total of 826,184 vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far.

Cumulatively 466,948 and 191,901 people have received the first dose and second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine
respectively while 167,335 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Over the past 24 hours, 1,197 and 7,452 people have received first dose and second of AstraZeneca vaccine
respectively while 11,219 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Cumulatively, 359,236 people are fully vaccinated. As we continue fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, in this third wave, we continue to register high number of people dying due to COVID-19.

Our Case Fatality Rate is higher that the global average which is 3.47% compared to 2.1% globally. Sadly, we continue to lose productive citizens to the disease against a backdrop of general late health care seeking behavior among us whereby patients are arriving in our treatment units while in severe state and this is resulting in poor disease outcomes.

Further, we have noted that some patients are being brought in out treatment units already dead. Let me stress that for those that have the severe form of the disease are supposed to seek care immediately at the nearest health facility where appropriate care will be given.

The public should be informed that in our treatment/isolation units we have experienced and dedicated health workers that are working tirelessly to save lives.

The chances of one recovering from COVID-19 increases when the disease is identified as early as possible hence the need for prompt health seeking behaviour.

I would like to encourage the public to promptly seek care at the nearest health facility whenever one is experiencing
COVID-19 like symptoms such as fever, cough, flu, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell and tiredness.

This prompt health care seeking will help us identify the disease in the early stages so that appropriate care can be given immediately.

If one is unsure of what to do please engage with the health authorities by calling the toll-free number 929. Let me also encourage those that have been confirmed to be COVID-19 positive to promptly seek care if they are
experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, loss of speech or movement.

Let me emphasize that to effectively reduce and stop the disease from spreading further, there is need for collective effort –we all need to comprehensively follow all the preventive and containment measures as well as getting vaccinated for those that are aged 18 years and above.

The following preventive measures should be our daily routine: frequent handwashing with soap, proper wearing of mask, avoiding over- crowded places, practicing cough and sneeze etiquette, staying home if you have flu like symptoms and decontaminating commonly touched surfaces.

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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