LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 32 new COVID-19 cases, 234 new recoveries and four new deaths. All cases are locally transmitted: 10 from Lilongwe, eight from Blantyre, seven from Salima, three from Karonga, two from Zomba, and one each from Mangochi and Neno.

Four new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours: two from Lilongwe, and one each from Blantyre and Salima 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 60,345 cases including 2,161 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.58%). Of these cases, 2,611 are imported infections and 57,734 are locally transmitted.

Cumulatively, 47,251 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 78.3%) and 232 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 10,701.

In the past 24 hours, there were eight new admissions in the treatment units while 14 cases were discharged. Currently, a total of 172 active cases are currently hospitalised: 38 in Lilongwe, 24 in Blantyre, 16 each in Mzimba North and Zomba, nine in Mulanje, eight in Karonga, seven in Mchinji, six each in Balaka and Mangochi, five each in Kasungu and Thyolo, four each in Mzimba South, Ntcheu, and Chiradzulu, three each in Dowa, Nkhata Bay, Rumphi, and Chitipa, two each in Neno and Nkhotakota, and one each in Salima, Phalombe, Machinga, and Chikwawa Districts.

On testing, in the past 24 hours, 549 COVID-19 tests were conducted. Of these, 223 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 5.8% while a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 11.6%.

Cumulatively, 384,283 tests have been conducted in the country so far. On COVID-19 vaccination, a total of 877,951 vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far.

Cumulatively 472,229 and 208,898 people have received the first dose and second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine respectively while 196,824 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Over the past 24 hours, 31 and 231 people have received first dose and second of AstraZeneca vaccine respectively while 561 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Cumulatively, 405,722 people are fully vaccinated.

I would like to commend some local leaders that are encouraging their subjects to get vaccinated. These local leaders are organizing the people right in their communities and thereafter invite the health personnel to come and vaccinate the people.

This is the type of leadership that we expect from the traditional leaders. Let me appeal to other traditional and
faith leaders to emulate this good example and ensure that the people they serve are protected from developing severe COVID-19 disease as well as reducing the risk of hospitalization and deaths due to COVID-19.

The leaders will only be leaders when their subjects are well and healthy. Apart from encouraging the people to get vaccinated, the traditional and faith leaders should also take an active role in ensuring that the COVID-19 preventive and containment measures are strictly adhered to in their respective communities.This will help in reducing the
spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

Together we can have a COVID-19 free Malawi and it begins with us.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, 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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