LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered six new COVID-19 cases, 45 new recoveries and one new death. All new cases are locally transmitted: three from Mzimba North, and one each from Chiradzulu, Lilongwe, and Neno Districts.

One new death was registered in the past 24 hours and is from Blantyre. The new death was 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 61,732 cases including 2,295 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.72%). Of these cases, 2,660 are imported infections and 59,072 are locally transmitted.

Cumulatively, 56,966 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 92.3%) and 232 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 2,239. In the past 24 hours, there were four new admissions (all new admissions are not vaccinated) in the treatment units while two cases were discharged.

Currently, a total of nine active cases are currently hospitalised (one case is in critical condition and is not vaccinated): two each in Blantyre, Lilongwe and Zomba, and one each in Chiradzulu, Neno, and Ntcheu Districts.

On testing, in the past 24 hours, 482 COVID-19 tests were conducted. Of these, 209 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 1.2% a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 1.1%.

Cumulatively, 419,908 tests have been conducted in the country so far. On COVID-19 vaccination, a total of 1,153,801 vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far.

Cumulatively 632,423 and 267,600 people have received the first dose and second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine respectively while 253,778 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Over the past 24 hours, 2,095 and 967 people have received first dose and second of AstraZeneca vaccine respectively while 404 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Cumulatively, 521,378 people are
fully vaccinated.

Though we are observing a decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases, admissions and deaths, the public should be reminded that we are still experiencing community transmission of COVID-19 evidenced by new confirmed cases being reported on a daily basis and as such it is important that we all adhere to the preventive and containment measures.

It has to be noted that COVID-19 affects people in different ways with the majority being asymptomatic or have
mild symptoms and will recover without hospitalization.

I would like to remind you on COVID-19 symptoms so as to facilitate early care seeking. 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. If one experiences serious symptoms such as difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, loss of speech or movement, immediate medical attention is needed.

It is important to note that early care seeking leads to positive treatment outcomes. The public should be informed that 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. In order to reduce the spread
of the disease in our midst, it is important that we identify by testing those that have the disease, isolate them and provide appropriate care depending on the severity of the disease.

The contacts of the confirmed cases have to be tested as well and should quarantine for 14 days. Let me appeal to the public to get tested early whenever they experience COVID-19 symptoms.

The reduced numbers should not make us relax and lower our guard, it is time for all of us to ensure that we are strictly adhering to the COVID-19 preventive and containment measures.

Further, it is important that those aged 18 years and above receive the COVID-19 vaccine to reduce their risk of getting seriously ill, being hospitalized and dying due to COVID-19.

Let us all continue to strictly adhere to the golden rules of COVID-19 preventive and containment measures; wash your hands or use hand sanitizers, wear your mask, maintain social distance and avoid overcrowded places. This will assist in reducing and supressing further COVID-19 transmission in our country.

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

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