LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 130 new COVID-19 cases, 257 new recoveries and 19 new deaths. All cases are locally transmitted: 41 from Lilongwe, 21 from Blantyre, seven from Mzimba North, five each from Chikwawa, Chitipa, and Ntcheu, four each from Karonga, Mchinji, and Neno, three each from Chiradzulu, Mangochi, Phalombe, and Thyolo, two each from Balaka, Dedza, Dowa, Kasungu, Mulanje, Nkhotakota, Salima, and Zomba, and one each from Likoma, Machinga, Mzimba South, Nkhata Bay, Ntchisi, and Rumphi Districts.

19 new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours: four each from Blantyre and Lilongwe, two each from Mzimba North, and Rumphi, and one each from Mangochi, Dowa, Mulanje, Karonga, Ntcheu, Machinga, 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 60,221 cases including 2,148 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.57%). Of these cases, 2,607 are imported infections and 57,607 are locally transmitted.

Cumulatively, 46,830 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 77.8%) and 232 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 11,011.

In the past 24 hours, there were 15 new admissions in the treatment units while 19 cases were discharged. Currently, a total of 187 active cases are currently hospitalised: 40 in Lilongwe, 35 in Blantyre, 20 in Zomba, 14 in Mzimba North, eight in Karonga, six each in Mangochi, Mulanje, and Balaka, five each in Mchinji, Thyolo, and
Chiradzulu, four each in Dowa, Neno, Mzimba South, Ntcheu, and Chitipa, three each in Kasungu,
Nkhata Bay, and Rumphi, two each in Salima and Nkhotakota, and one each in Phalombe, Machinga,
Chikwawa, and Nsanje Districts.

On testing, in the past 24 hours, 1,244 COVID-19 tests were conducted. Of these, 632 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 10.5% while a
weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 13.7%.

Cumulatively, 382,381 tests have been conducted in the country so far. On COVID-19 vaccination, a total of 868,818 vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far.

Cumulatively 471,288 and 206,350 people have received the first dose and second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine respectively while 191,180 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Over the past 24 hours, 914 and 2,516 people have received first dose and second of AstraZeneca vaccine respectively while 4,350 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Cumulatively, 397,350 people are fully vaccinated.

As you are aware that we continue to observe a downward trend in the number of new COVID-19 cases, and those admitted in the treatment units. Sadly, we are still losing lives due to Covid-19.

One of the attributing factor to the high number of deaths is delayed presentation of people to the health facilities. Let me appeal to the general public to seek care early whenever they are experiencing
symptoms of COVID-19.

Furthermore, it was also noted that COVID-19 vaccinations using both the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines continue to be rolled out across the country. Available data indicates that most of those being admitted to our treatment units had not been vaccinated.

This picture is also being observed in other countries, including those where larger proportions of the population have been vaccinated. I would therefore urge Malawians to go and get vaccinated as this is one of the best ways we have to control the epidemic.

Though the new cases are going down, we are still experiencing community transmission of the disease and the number of active cases remains high, currently at 11,156.

The active cases can transmit the infection if not managed well. Let me point it out here that one COVID-19 case has a potential to transmit the disease to over four more people and the number might higher with the presence of
the new variants which are said to be highly transmissible hence a call for all of us to remain vigilant and practice the COVID-19 preventive and containment measures.

During our meeting today, the Presidential Taskforce reviewed the trend of the disease in the past few weeks and I would like to inform the public that the Taskforce decided to maintain level 3 control measures even though technically, the country is still in level 4.

This means limitations on indoor and outdoor gatherings, including weddings, religious gatherings, funerals and sports events remain at 50 and 100 respectively, until further notice. Limitations on public transport remain at 60% of capacity.

I would like to request everyone to continue adhering to the COVID-19 preventive and containment
measures to reduce the spread of the disease even further. The PTF also deliberated on the travel
restrictions and also mandatory institutional quarantine for those coming from “high risk countries”.
The following will be implemented with immediate effect;

  1. India, Pakistani, Bangladesh, Nepal and Brazil are no longer categorised as high risk countries, therefore travellers from these countries will no longer be required to be on mandatory self-sponsored institutional quarantine
  2. Travellers coming to Malawi are no longer required to obtain a waiver from the Ministry of Health
  3. All travellers are required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test result done not more than 72 hrs before arrival in Malawi and also that COVID-19 prevention and control regulations and rules as guided by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 are followed during his stay in Malawi.
    The Presidential Taskforce will continue to monitor the situation and make necessary revisions based on the disease trend in the country and globally. Meanwhile, I urge all Malawians to continue observing the basic control measures and to get vaccinated.
    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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