LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 516 new COVID-19 cases, 620 new recoveries and 15 new deaths. Of the new cases, 511 are locally transmitted: 99 from Lilongwe, 49 from Blantyre, 48 from Mangochi, 40 from Mzimba North, 34 from Salima, 30 from Mchinji, 23 from Mzimba South, 19 each from Mulanje and Ntcheu, 17 from Dedza, 14 each from Dowa and Nkhotakota, 12 from Chikwawa, 10 each from Chiradzulu, Ntchisi, and Zomba, nine each from Kasungu and Rumphi, seven each from Chitipa, Machinga, and Nkhata Bay, six from Karonga, five each from Neno and Phalombe, four from Nsanje, two from Thyolo, and one each from Balaka and Mwanza Districts while five cases are imported and all are from Dowa

15 new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours; four from Lilongwe, two from Mzimba North, and one each from Salima, Nkhata Bay, Mulanje, Mchinji, Dedza, Thyolo, Nkhotakota, Ntcheu, 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 53,503 cases including 1,700 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.18%). Of these cases, 2,586 are imported infections and 50,908 are locally transmitted.

Cumulatively, 39,047 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 73%) and 232 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 12,524.

In the past 24 hours, there were 60 new admissions in the treatment units while 42 cases were discharged.

Currently, a total of 388 active cases are currently hospitalised: 100 in Blantyre, 89 in Lilongwe, 34 in Zomba, 19 in Mzimba North, 12 each in Karonga, Mchinji, and Mulanje, 11 in Kasungu, nine in Ntcheu, eight each in Dowa, Chiradzulu, and Rumphi, seven each in Balaka and Dedza, six each in Nkhata Bay, Thyolo, and Salima, five in Neno, four each in Mangochi, Mzimba South, Nkhotakota, Chikwawa, and Phalombe, three in Ntchisi, two each in Chitipa and Machinga, and one each in Nsanje and Likoma Districts.

On testing, in the past 24 hours, 2,694 COVID19 tests were conducted. Of these, 1,909 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 19.2% while a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 21.6%.

Cumulatively, 344,462 tests have been conducted in the country so far. On COVID-19 vaccination, cumulatively 455,763 and 142,099 people have received the first dose and second dose respectively.

Over the past 24 hours 556 people received the first dose and 1,771 the second dose. A total of 597,862 vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far.

As we are fighting this pandemic we have also observed that stigma and discrimination towards those that have been diagnosed with COVID-19, their contacts, their families and those that have recovered from the disease is one of the stumbling blocks in the COVID-19 fight.

The stigma and discrimination may compromise the efforts 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.

Contact tracing is also one of the key strategy in the COVID-19 fight and it is important that all those that have been confirmed to be COVID-19 positive disclose the people that they were in contact with so that they can also be tested for COVID-19.

The risk of contacts getting the disease from the confirmed cases is high hence the need for the contacts to get traced and tested, 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 to 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. 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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