LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 743 new COVID-19 cases, 256 new recoveries and 27 new deaths. All cases are locally transmitted: 174 from Lilongwe, 124 from Blantyre, 64 from Zomba, 57 from Mchinji, 40 from Mzimba North, 27 from Nkhotakota, 24 from Mangochi, 23 from Dowa, 22 from Machinga, 21 from Mulanje, 20 from Mzimba South, 19 from Kasungu, 15 from Nkhata Bay, 14 from Chiradzulu, 12 each from Balaka and Phalombe, 11 from Karonga, 10 from Dedza, nine each from Nsanje and Salima, eight from Ntcheu, seven each from Neno and Ntchisi, six from Rumphi, four from Chitipa, three from Thyolo, and one from Chikwawa Districts.

27 new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours; six from Lilongwe, four from Blantyre, two each from Mzimba North, Zomba, Kasungu, Machinga, and Ntchisi, and one each from Salima, Mchinji, Mzimba South, Dedza, Nkhotakota, Phalombe, and Nsanje 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 49,752 cases including 1,540 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.1%). Of these cases, 2,562 are imported infections and 47,188 are locally transmitted.

Cumulatively, 36,878 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 74.1%) and 232 were lost to follow-up.

This brings the total number of active cases to 11,102. In the past 24 hours, there were 61 new admissions in the treatment units while 27 cases were discharged.

Currently, a total of 382 active cases are currently hospitalised: 117 in Blantyre, 81 in Lilongwe, 30 in Zomba, 14 each in Mzimba North and Kasungu, 10 each in Chiradzulu and Salima, nine each in Mangochi and Mzimba South, eight each Dowa, Mulanje, and Neno, seven each in Karonga, Thyolo, and Nkhotakota, six each in Mchinji, Balaka, and Ntchisi, four each in Ntcheu, Rumphi, and Chikwawa, three in Phalombe, two each in Nkhata Bay, Dedza, Machinga, and Nsanje, and one each in Chitipa and Mwanza Districts.

On testing, in the past 24 hours, 2,957 COVID-19 tests were conducted. Of these, 2,103 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 25.1% while a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 24.8%.

Cumulatively, 326,809 tests have been conducted in the country so far.

On COVID-19 vaccination, cumulatively 390,738 and 57,670 people have received the first dose and second dose respectively.

Over the past 24 hours 5,405 people received the first dose and 14,594 the second dose. A total of 448,408 vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far.

As the COVID-19 vaccination is progressing, I would like to remind the public that as communicated earlier, the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe as it has few side effects and most of them are minor and self-limiting and these include pain or soreness on the injection site, fever, headache, muscle or joint pain, fatigue or nausea and these will usually go away without any need of hospital treatment.

As with any other vaccines, those that are receiving the vaccine are informed on the possible side effects of the vaccine including those that may need to be immediately reported to the health workers. Those that have received the vaccine are encouraged to report to the nearest health facility any adverse effects following immunization or call toll free number 929.

We are still observing an increase in the number of COVID-19 new cases, admissions in the treatment units and deaths and we really need to act now to stop the further spread of COVID19 in our country. For this to be achieved, we need to identify by testing those that they have the disease, isolate them, 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. It is important that everyone of us promptly reports for testing whenever we experience COVID-19 symptoms.

The most common symptoms include fever, dry cough, and tiredness, while in some patients it presents with aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, headache, loss of taste or smell, rash on the skin, or discolouration
of fingers or toes.

When one has these symptoms, there is need to have a COVID-19 test.

The public should be informed that the COVID-19 testing for diagnosis purposes is free of charge in all Government and CHAM testing sites while those requiring testing for travel, the testing is available at a fee in our four Central Hospitals and PHIM laboratories.

COVID-19 testing is also available in some private facilities testing sites but at a fee. Let me appeal to the public to
get tested early whenever they experience COVID-19 symptoms.

Let me emphasize the importance of seeking care early when one is experiencing the COVID19 severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, loss of speech or movement.

We have observed that there is general late health care seeking behavior among us whereby patients are arriving in our treatment units while in severe state and this is resulting in poor disease outcomes.

Some of these deaths could have been prevented if patients were brought in early to receive appropriate care. COVID-19 is easily managed if it is identified in the early stages.

For those that have the severe form of the disease, they are supposed to seek care immediately where appropriate care is given.

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.


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