LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 347 new COVID-19 cases, 165 new recoveries and 14 new deaths. All cases are locally transmitted: 137 from Lilongwe, 67 from Blantyre, 40 from Mzimba South, 18 from Mchinji, 12 from Mchinji, 10 from Kasungu, nine from Balaka, six each from Chikwawa and Nkhata Bay, five each from Dowa, Mulanje, and Nkhotakota, four from Ntchisi, three each from Dedza, Neno, Ntcheu, and Zomba, two each in Chiradzulu, Phalombe, Rumphi, and Salima, and one each from Chitipa, Machinga, and Thyolo Districts.

14 new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours; four from Blantyre, two each from Mulanje and Ntchisi, and one each from Zomba, Salima, Mchinji, Mzimba South, Ntcheu, and Phalombe 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 43,817 cases including 1,352 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.09%). Of these cases, 2,530 are imported infections and 41,287 are locally transmitted. Cumulatively, 35,087 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 80.1%) and 232 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 7,146.

In the past 24 hours, there were 55 new admissions in the treatment units while 29 cases were discharged. Currently, a total of 308 active cases are currently hospitalised; 86 in Blantyre, 83 in Lilongwe, 31 in Zomba, 11 in Mzimba North, 10 in Kasungu, nine in Ntchisi, eight in Thyolo, seven in Mulanje, six each in Mzimba South and Rumphi, five in Balaka, four each in Salima, Dowa, Neno, Nkhotakota, Ntcheu, and Chiradzulu, three each in Mchinji, Phalombe, Machinga, and Chikwawa, two each in Karonga, Dedza, Chitipa, and Mwanza, and one each in Mangochi and Nkhata Bay Districts.

On testing, in the past 24 hours, 1,151 COVID-19 tests were conducted. Of these, 677 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 30.2% while a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average)
is at 26%. Cumulatively, 302,784 tests have been conducted in the country so far.

On COVID-19 vaccination, cumulatively 385,242 and 43,165 people have received the first dose and second dose respectively. The COVID-19 vaccination remain paused hence no doses were administered over the past 24 hours. A total of 428,407 vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far.

Tomorrow, the Muslim Community globally will be observing the Eid-Al-Adha (“Festival of the Sacrifice”) which is marked by social and religious gatherings where Muslim families and friends unite to pray together and give alms, especially in the form of sacrificed animal meat. In our country, the Eid-Al-Adha will be observed on Wednesday, the 21st of July 2021.

The EID is coming at a time where as a country we are battling the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic with a daily increase in the number of new confirmed cases, admissions and deaths hence the need to observe the EID with
caution and vigilance to minimize the COVID-19 transmission.

As we are still observing community transmission of the disease amidst us and many parts of the country are reporting an increase in new cases, the risk of rapid transmission remains high. I would like therefore to give guidance to ensure that the day is observed in a safe manner in line with the COVID-19 preventive and containment measures.

It is important to stay safe this coming Eid-Al-Adha by adhering to the following:
 Practicing the COVID-19 preventive measures; frequent handwashing with soap or use of hand sanitizer, proper wearing of mask, maintaining physical distance of at least between yourself and others, practicing cough and sneeze etiquette
 Avoid large gatherings and events, especially if you are among the high-risk groups or if you’re feeling unwell. Stick to the limitations of the gatherings i.e. maximum of 50 people for indoors (the size of the room should allow 1 metre
distance between the delegates) and 100 for outdoors.
 Hold smaller events with fewer attendees rather than large gatherings and ensure good ventilation indoors, or preferably use outdoor venues
 Encourage healthy practices at mosques and places of worship; it is encouraged to perform wudu at home when feasible and use personal prayer rugs, ensure washing facilities are equipped with soap and water or put a provision of
alcohol-based hand-rub (60-80% alcohol) at the entrance and inside mosques, regulate flow of people entering, attending, and leaving from mosques or other venues and ensure frequent cleaning of worship spaces and buildings
 If you choose to have the sacrifice performed in the household, designate only one person to carry it out, and ensure that physical distancing and other precautionary measures are always in place
 People who are feeling unwell or who are required to stay in isolation (e.g. suspected, probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases) or quarantine (e.g. contacts of probable or confirmed COVID-19 cases), should not attend the events
 Older people (aged ≥ 60 years) and anyone with underlying medical conditions (diabetes, hypertension, cardiac disease, chronic lung disease, cerebrovascular disease, dementia, mental disorders, chronic kidney disease,
immunosuppression, obesity and cancer) should be advised to refrain from attending any gatherings, as these population groups are considered vulnerable to severe disease and death from COVID-19.

Lastly, I would like to emphasize the need for strict adherence to the guidance given in order to make the EID safe. Let me wish our Muslim community in the country a safe and happy Eid-Al-Adha.

No one is safe until everyone else is safe. Wear Face Mask! Protect yourself. Protect your loved ones. Protect everyone. Call toll free 929.

Hon. Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, MP

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