LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 72 new COVID-19 cases, 156 new recoveries and 15 new deaths. All cases are locally transmitted: 21 from Blantyre, 10 from Lilongwe, five each from Chikwawa, Rumphi, and Salima, four each from Chiradzulu and Kasungu, three each from Dowa, Karonga, and Thyolo, two each from Mchinji and Zomba, and one each from Chitipa, Machinga, Mulanje, Mzimba North, and Neno Districts.

15 new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours; five from Lilongwe, four from Mzimba North, two from Mzimba South, and one each from Zomba, Mchinji, Karonga, 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 59,471 cases including 2,074 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.49%). Of these cases, 2,600 are imported infections and 56,871 are locally transmitted. Cumulatively, 45,552 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 76.6%) and 232 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 11,613. In the past 24 hours, there were 29 new admissions in the treatment units while 37 cases were discharged.

Currently, a total of 237 active cases are currently hospitalised: 63 in Lilongwe, 40 in Blantyre, 22 in Zomba, 19 in Mzimba North, nine in Thyolo, eight in Mchinji, seven each in Mulanje and Mangochi, six in Balaka, five each in Dowa, Rumphi, Chitipa, and Nsanje, four each in Salima, Karonga, Mzimba South, and Chiradzulu, three each in Nkhata Bay and Phalombe, two each in Kasungu, Neno, Nkhotakota, Ntcheu, Machinga, and Ntchisi, and one each in Dedza and Chikwawa Districts.

On testing, in the past 24 hours, 523 COVID-19 tests were conducted. Of these, 241 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 13.8% while a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 15.8%.

Cumulatively, 376,943 tests have been conducted in the country so far. On COVID-19 vaccination, a total of 827,615 vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far.

Cumulatively 466,999 and 192,517 people have received the first dose and second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine
respectively while 168,099 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Over the past 24 hours, 51 and 616 people have received first dose and second of AstraZeneca vaccine
respectively while 764 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Cumulatively,360,616 people are fully vaccinated.

As we are fighting this pandemic 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 that have been put in place to suppress the disease in our country as some people may not follow all 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 that you 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.

Lastly, it has been noted that some fraudsters are sending text messages to people informing them that they have received COVID-19 money from the Ministry of Health and putting numbers for the people to call to claim their money.

Let me point it clearly that there is no such arrangement by the Ministry of Health and if anyone receives such messages they should report the numbers to the Police so that the fraudsters can be apprehended.

Further, the network providers are asked to investigate and block these numbers and also work with the
security agencies to bring to book the fraudsters.

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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