LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 92 new COVID-19 cases, 184 new recoveries and nine new deaths. Of the new cases, 90 are locally transmitted: 27 from Blantyre, 25 from Lilongwe, seven from Mzimba North, four each from Chitipa and Karonga, three each from Chikwawa, Dedza, and Mchinji, two each from Mulanje, Mzimba South, Nkhata Bay, and Salima, and one each from Chiradzulu, Dowa, Mangochi, Ntcheu, Phalombe, and Rumphi Districts while two are imported cases and both their final destination is Dowa District.

Nine new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours: two from Lilongwe, and one each from Zomba, Salima, Mchinji, Karonga, Ntcheu, Chitipa, and Ntchis 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 60,313 cases including 2,157 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.58%). Of these cases, 2,611 are imported infections and 57,702 are locally transmitted.

Cumulatively, 47,014 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 78%) and 232 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 10,910. In the past 24 hours, there were 22 new admissions in the treatment units while 16 cases were discharged.

Currently, a total of 185 active cases are currently hospitalised: 40 in Lilongwe, 31 in Blantyre, 17 in Zomba, 15 in Mzimba North, eight each in Mulanje and Karonga, seven in Mchinji, six each in Mangochi and Balaka, five each in Kasungu and Thyolo, four each in Dowa, Neno, Mzimba South, Ntcheu, and Chiradzulu, three each in Nkhata Bay, Rumphi, and Chitipa, two each in Salima and Nkhotakota, and one each in Phalombe, Machinga, Chikwawa, and Nsanje Districts.

On testing, in the past 24 hours, 1,114 COVID-19 tests were conducted. Of these, 609 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 8.3% while a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 12.7%.

Cumulatively, 383,734 tests have been conducted in the country so far. On COVID-19 vaccination, a total of 877,128 vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far.

Cumulatively 472,198 and 208,667 people have received the first dose and second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine
respectively while 196,263 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Over the past 24 hours, 910 and 2,317 people have received first dose and second of AstraZeneca vaccine
respectively while 5,083 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Cumulatively, 404,930 people are fully vaccinated.

I am glad to report that today, we have received an additional 160,800 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine under the COVAX facility.

The vaccines we have received today will help to reach out to those people that had received the first dose of the AstraZeneca Vaccine and are due to receive the second dose thereby increasing the fully vaccinated population in our country.

The public is further informed that in our vaccination sites we have two types of COVID-19 vaccines and these are Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccine. Johnson and Johnson COVID19 vaccine 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.

Our COVID-19 data indicates that most of the cases being reported are from local transmission. Let me remind everyone that the chances of those confirmed positive transmitting the disease to those in close contact with them is very high, it is therefore important that the contacts of the confirmed cases get tested and to be on quarantine for 14 days.

To limit the further spread of the disease within those in close contact of a confirmed case, it is strongly recommended to strictly follow infection prevention and control protocols and ensure that they remain isolated
till they are declared recovered by the health officials.

Many of our COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic and this is why it is important to treat everyone you meet as a potential carrier of the disease and ensure strict adherence to the preventive and containment measures. To effectively reduce and stop COVID-19 from spreading, there is need for a collective effort to contain the pandemic by comprehensively following all the preventive and containment measures.

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.

Additionally, it is important that those that are aged 18 years and above are vaccinated against COVID-19 to
reduce the risk of developing severe disease, risk of hospitalization and deaths when they contract COVID-19 infection.

No one is safe until everyone else is safe. Get Fully 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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