LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 108 new COVID-19 cases, 166 new recoveries and nine new deaths. All cases are locally transmitted: 23 from Blantyre, 20 from Mzimba North, 13 from Lilongwe, eight from Karonga, six each from Mangochi and Salima, four each from Balaka, Dedza, and Dowa, and three each from Mchinji and Phalombe, two each from Chitipa, Mulanje, Neno, Nsanje, and Ntcheu, and one each from Chikwawa, Machinga, Mzimba South, and Zomba District.Nine new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours two from Kasungu and one each from Lilongwe, Zomba, Salima, Mchinji, Karonga, Chiradzulu, 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 60,494 cases including 2,177 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.60%). Of these cases, 2,611 are imported infections and 57,883 are locally transmitted.

Cumulatively, 47,806 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 79%) and 232 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 10,279.

In the past 24 hours, there were 14 new admissions in the treatment units while 23 cases were discharged. Currently, a total of 152 active cases are currently hospitalised: 37 in Lilongwe, 22 in Blantyre, 18 in Mzimba North, 12 in Zomba, six in Mulanje, five each in Salima, Kasungu, Mchinji, Karonga, and Thyolo, four in Chiradzulu, three each in Mangochi, Dowa, Balaka, Ntcheu, Rumphi, and Chitipa, two each in Nkhata Bay, Neno, and Mzimba South, and one each in Phalombe,Machinga, Chikwawa, and Nsanje Districts.

On testing, in the past 24 hours, 1,429 COVID-19 tests were conducted. Of these, 817 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 7.6% while a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 9.1%.

Cumulatively, 386,738 tests have been conducted in the country so far. On COVID-19 vaccination, a total of 883,432 vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far.

Cumulatively 472,948 and 210,692 people have received the first dose and second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine
respectively while 199,792 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Over the past 24 hours, 706 and 1,738 people have received first dose and second of AstraZeneca vaccine
respectively while 4,588 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Cumulatively, 410,484 people are fully vaccinated.

We continue to observe a downward trend in the number of COVID-19 new cases and admissions in the treatment units. Though this is the case, we still have community transmission of the COVID-19 virus hence the need to continue adhering to the preventive and containment measures. Since we reported the first cases in our country on 2nd April 2020, we have registered 60,494 COVID-19 cases and 2,177 people have died due to COVID-19. To others these are just numbers but beyond statistics, these are real people just like you and me.

We have lost our loved ones to the pandemic, productive citizens to the nation and sadly some children are now orphans due to COVID-19 and our lives have been greatly affected by the pandemic.

In the course of the pandemic what we have observed is that human behaviour is important in the control of the pandemic as it can help to stop or further the spread of the disease.

For instance, when we collectively intensify adherence to the preventive and containment measures, the number of new cases are reduced similarly, when we relax in adherence to the measures there is resurgences of the cases.

Our behaviours in the COVID-19 fight are key as we have observed that changes in people’s activities contribute to the rise of infections — such as travel, failure to wear a mask and to adhere to physical distancing policies. And this is true for the past two waves of the pandemic in our country, we have observed that as more people relax in adhering to the preventive and containment measures, rapid is the spread of the disease and in those circumstances, we have an increased number of new cases, those admitted in treatment units and deaths. Now that
we are we are observing a reduced number of cases we need to collectively push hard and strictly adhere to the measures to ensure that we reduce further the spread of the disease amidst us.

At the start of the pandemic the only defence that we had was to change our behaviour; adopting wearing of masks, observing physical/social distance and steeping up our handwashing practices.

In the course of the pandemic the COVID-19 vaccine was introduced as an added tool in the COVID-19 fight. On the COVID-19 vaccine, let me remind the public that the vaccination exercise is still in progress and we have adequate vaccines in all vaccination sites.

We have both Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) and AstraZeneca vaccines in the vaccination sites. Johnson and Johnson (Janseen) is a single dose vaccine and one is required to receive one jab 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. Both vaccines will be given to those that are aged 18 years and above.

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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