LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered eight new COVID-19 cases, 75 new recoveries and two new deaths. All new cases are locally transmitted: three from Lilongwe, two from Blantyre, and one each from Mzimba North, Mangochi, and Zomba Districts.

Two new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours: one each from Blantyre and Zomba Districts. The new
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 61,517 cases including 2,278 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.70%). Of these cases, 2,636 are imported infections and 58,881 are locally transmitted.

Cumulatively, 54,668 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 88.9%) and 232 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 4,339.

In the past 24 hours, there were three new admissions (all new admissions are not vaccinated) in the treatment units while five cases were discharged.

Currently, a total of 37 active cases are currently hospitalised (of these, one cases are in critical condition and is not vaccinated): 13 in Lilongwe, seven in Blantyre, four in Mzimba South, two each in Dowa and Zomba, and one each in Mangochi, Mchinji, Karonga, Mzimba South, Balaka, Dedza, Chiradzulu, Phalombe, and Mwanza Districts.

On testing, in the past 24 hours, 518 COVID-19 tests were conducted. Of these, 223 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 1.5% a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 2.7%.

Cumulatively, 407,512 tests have been conducted in the country so far. On COVID-19 vaccination, a total of 1,031,041 vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far.

Cumulatively 541,448 and 249,259 people have received the first dose and second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine respectively while 240,334 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Over the past 24 hours, 570 and 325 people have received first dose and second of AstraZeneca vaccine respectively while 69 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Cumulatively, 489,593 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 disease hence the need to continue strictly adhering to the preventive and containment measures.

We are at a stage that we need to sustain the downward trend being observed and the only way that this can be achieved is 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, 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 within 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 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: 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.

For COVID-19 Vaccination certificate queries please call toll free 929 or email or send WhatsApp message to +265887371288. 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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