LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 46 new COVID-19 cases, 307 new recoveries and eight new deaths. All cases are locally transmitted: 16 from Lilongwe, six from Blantyre, four from Mzimba North, three each from Chikwawa and Mangochi, two each from Mzimba South and Zomba, and one each from Chiradzulu, Chitipa, Dedza, Dowa, Karonga, Mchinji, Nkhata Bay, Nsanje, Ntcheu, and Salima District.

Eight new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours: three from Lilongwe, and one each from Blantyre, Mangochi, Salima, Phalombe, and Rumphi Districts. Five of the new deaths were not vaccinated, one was fully vaccinated, and
two are community deaths and vaccination status is not known.

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 60,898 cases including 2,225 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.65%). Of these cases, 2,611 are imported infections and 58,287 are locally transmitted.

Cumulatively, 49,681 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 81.6%) and 232 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 8,760. In the past 24 hours, there were three new admissions (Two of the new admissions are not vaccinated and one is fully vaccinated) in the treatment units while six cases were discharged.

Currently, a total of 92 active cases are currently hospitalised (of these, 11 cases are in critical condition and all are not vaccinated): 23 in Lilongwe, 15 in Blantyre, 10 from Mzimba North, eight from Zomba, five each in Karonga and Thyolo, four in Chiradzulu, three in Mulanje, two each in Mangochi, Salima, Dowa, Neno, Ntcheu, Phalombe, and Chitipa, and one each from Mchinji, Mzimba North, Balaka, Chikwawa, and Nsanje Districts.

On testing, in the past 24 hours, 976 COVID-19 tests were conducted. Of these, 527 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 4.7% while a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 6.6%.

Cumulatively, 392,667 tests have been conducted in the country so far. On COVID-19 vaccination, a total of 916,777 vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far.

Cumulatively 480,780 and 220,281 people have received the first dose and second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine
respectively while 215,716 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Over the past 24 hours, 1,676 and 1,561 people have received first dose and second of AstraZeneca vaccine
respectively while 2,248 people have received Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Cumulatively, 435,997 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 are still losing productive people due to COVID-19.

Our Case Fatality Rate is higher that the global average which is 3.64% compared to 2.1% globally. Sadly, we are still observing 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.

Further, we have noted that some patients are being brought in out treatment units already dead. Let me stress that those that have the severe form of the disease should seek care immediately at the nearest health facility where
appropriate care will be given.

The public should be informed that in our treatment/isolation units we have experienced and dedicated health workers that are working tirelessly to save lives.

The chances of one recovering from COVID-19 increases when the disease is identified as early as possible hence the need for prompt health seeking behaviour.

I would like to encourage the public to promptly seek care at the nearest health facility whenever one is experiencing
COVID-19 like symptoms such as fever, cough, flu, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell and tiredness.

This prompt health care seeking will help us identify the disease in the early stages so that appropriate care can be given immediately. If one is unsure of what to do please engage with the health authorities by calling the toll-free number 929.

Let me also encourage those that have been confirmed to be COVID-19 positive to promptly seek care if they are
experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, loss of speech or movement.

Let me emphasize that to effectively reduce and stop the disease from spreading further, there is need for collective effort –we all need to comprehensively follow all the preventive and containment measures as well as getting vaccinated for those that are aged 18 years and above.

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.

No one is safe until everyone else is safe. Get Fully Vaccinated! 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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