LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 10 new COVID-19 cases, 96 new recoveries and two new deaths. All new cases are locally transmitted: three from Lilongwe, two each from Blantyre and Mzimba North, and one each from Dedza, Mangochi, and Neno Districts.

Two new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours: one each from Neno and Karonga Districts. Both deaths were not vaccinated. 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 61,726 cases including 2,294 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.72%). Of these cases, 2,660 are imported infections and 59,066 are locally transmitted.

Cumulatively, 56,921 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 92.2%) and 232 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 2,279. In the past 24 hours, there were no new admissions in the treatment units while two cases were discharged.

Currently, a total of eight active cases are currently hospitalised: three in Blantyre, two each in Lilongwe
and Zomba, and one in Ntcheu Districts.

On testing, in the past 24 hours, 714 COVID-19 tests were conducted. Of these, 522 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 1.3% a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 1.2%.

Cumulatively, 419,426 tests have been conducted in the country so far. On COVID-19 vaccination, a total of 1,150,335 vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far.

Cumulatively 630,328 and 266,633 people have received the first dose and second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine respectively while 253,374 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Over the past 24 hours, 976 and 522 people have received first dose and second of AstraZeneca vaccine respectively while 768 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Cumulatively, 520,007 people are
fully vaccinated.

The COVID-19 statistics in this country continue to show a sustained reduction in the number of new COVID-19 cases, admissions and deaths.

We do need to sustain this through strict adherence to the COVID-19 preventive and containment measures as well as getting vaccinated for those that are aged 18 years and above.

We need to suppress further the human to human transmission of the disease and this will help our country to prevent the resurgence of the disease.

The time to act is now as COVID-19 has greatly affected all aspects of our lives and the only way to return to normal is to act in unity, adhere to the measures, get screened for COVID-19 if you have the symptoms and seek care early if you are COVID-19 confirmed positive.

In case you are experiencing severe symptoms such as shortness of breath, loss of speech, chest pain and loss of movement seek care immediately at the nearest health facility.

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 therefore important that the contacts of the confirmed cases get tested and stay on quarantine for 14 days.

To limit the further spread of the disease amongst those in close contact of a confirmed case, it is strongly recommended to strictly follow infection prevention and control protocols and ensure that they remain
isolated till they are declared recovered by the health officials.

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.

To effectively reduce and stop COVID-19 from spreading, there is need for 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, risk of hospitalization and deaths when they contract COVID-19 infection.

My special appeal goes to those that had received the first dose of AstraZeneca and 12 weeks have elapsed, that they should get their second dose of the AstraZeneca at the nearest vaccination site. This will ensure that they are fully protected against COVID-19.

No one is safe until everyone else is safe. Get Fully Vaccinated! Wear Face Mask! Protect yourself. Protect your loved ones. Protect everyone.

Hon. Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, MP, MINISTER OF HEALTH

NBS Bank Your Caring Bank