LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 781 new COVID-19 cases, 229 new recoveries and 26 new deaths. Of the new cases, 764 cases are locally transmitted: 218 from Lilongwe, 163 from Blantyre, 54 from Zomba, 42 from Mchinji, 30 from Salima, 23 from Mzimba North, 18 from Rumphi, 17 each from Chikwawa and Mangochi, 15 each from Karonga, Mulanje, and Ntcheu, 14 each from Dedza and Neno, 13 each from Balaka and Kasungu, 12 each from Dowa, Nkhotakota, and Nsanje, 11 from Ntchisi, nine from Thyolo, seven from Machinga, six from Chiradzulu, five each from Mwanza and Phalombe, three from Nkhata Bay, and one from Chitipa Districts while 17 cases are imported: seven from Mangochi, five from Machinga, two from Salima, and one each from Blantyre, Dedza, and Mulanje Districts.

26 new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours; four from Lilongwe, three from Blantyre, two each from Mangochi, Mulanje, Chiradzulu, Machinga, and Ntchisi, and one each from Mzimba North, Zomba, Kasungu, Mchinji, Balaka, Dedza, Nkhotakota, Ntcheu, and Phalombe 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 45,465 cases including 1,389 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.06%). Of these cases, 2,547 are imported infections and 42,918 are locally transmitted.

Cumulatively, 35,432 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 77.9%) and 232 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 8,412. In the past 24 hours, there were 82 new admissions in the treatment units while 34 cases were discharged.

Currently, a total of 365 active cases are currently hospitalised; 99 in Blantyre, 90 in Lilongwe, 35 in Zomba, 14 in Kasungu, nine each in Dowa, Balaka, and Chiradzulu, eight in Mulanje, seven each in Mzimba North, Salima, Neno, Mchinji, Mzimba South, Thyolo, Nkhotakota, and Ntchisi, six in Mangochi, five each in Dedza and Machinga, four each in Phalombe, Rumphi, and Chikwawa, three in Ntcheu, two in Chitipa, and one each in Nkhata Bay, Mwanza, and
Nsanje Districts.

On testing, in the past 24 hours, 3,706 COVID-19 tests were conducted. Of these, 2,341 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 21.1% while a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 25.7%.

Cumulatively, 309,766 tests have been conducted in the country so far. On COVID19 vaccination, cumulatively 385,242 and 43,165 people have received the first dose and second dose respectively. The COVID-19 vaccination remain paused hence no doses were administered over the past 24 hours. A total of 428,407 vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far.

The number of new COVID-19 cases continues to rise impacting on the total number of active cases in this country; currently at 8,412. The active cases can transmit the infection if not managed well. Let me point it out that one COVID-19 case has a potential to transmit the disease to over four more people.

Most of the cases being reported are from local transmission and in this state, 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 important that the contacts of the confirmed cases get tested.

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. In order to reduce and stop the spread of COVID-19 in our country, we need to identify those that have the disease through testing, isolate them and provide appropriate care depending on the severity of the disease. The contacts of the
confirmed cases have to be traced and tested as well to ascertain whether they have the disease or not.

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 regardless of status: 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.

Lastly, let me remind the public that some of the COVID-19 preventive measures have multiple benefits, apart from preventing the spread of COVID-19, they are also helping to reduce the spread of other diseases.

For instance, handwashing with soap is also helping to prevent other diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery and cholera. We should make frequent hand washing with soap as our daily habit. While on the other hand, the use of facemask, apart from reducing the spread of COVID-19, also plays an important role in the prevention and control of spread of other infectious respiratory diseases such as influenza.
No one is safe until everyone else is safe. 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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