Chakwera confirms South Africa coronavirus variant is in Malawi as virus flares

President Lazarus Chakwera has said  the new variant of coronavirus that has been circulating in South Africa  called 501.V2 is now being seen in Malawi as the Covid-19 cases continue to surge with increased death rates.

The new variants appear to be more contagious, which is a problem because tougher restrictions on society is  needed to control the spread.

President Chakwera: Hands, face and space

Speaking on Sunday evening during  his weekly status update on  efforts to combat Covid-19 in the country, Chakwera cautioned Malawians to be careful by observing all the laid down guidelines  and that he was right to unleash strict measures to contain the virus pandemic.

“It has been confirmed that the new strain of the virus from South Africa is indeed here in Malawi. This confirms that we were right to treat this new wave with the seriousness it demanded, and so we must  stay the course in preventing it from spreading,” said Chakwera.

Malawi is one of the countries worst-hit by the coronavirus and recently has seen an enormous spike of cases and deaths has far surpassed previous waves of the pandemic.

According to medical experts, the South African variant has a number of additional mutations including changes to some of the virus’ spike protein which are concerning.

The spike protein is what coronavirus uses to gain entry into human cells. It is also the bit that vaccines are designed around, which is why experts are worried about these particular mutations.

In his address, President Chakwera, nonetheless painted a positive picture in the fight against pandemic, saying out of 17 334 us tests conducted in the past seven days, only 5027 tested positive representing 29% which is a drop by 8% from 37% a week before.

But Chakwera , who was flanked by Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 co-chairperson Dr John Phuka and Malawi Institute of Engineers representative  Videlia Moyo,  was quick to say that though the drop in percentage, new infections are still too high , hence a need to fully observe the directives which were set to contain further spread of the pandemic.

Further,  Chakwera told the nation that 62 new testing sites have been completed out of the 77 sites he directed to be established. He said  51 500 testing kits have been distributed countrywide with 150 000 kits in stock while the other consignment is reported to be on the way into the country.

Chakwera reminded  Malawians to wash their hands, wear face masks and observe social distance.

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John chidongo
6 months ago

The returnees are used to rough and tough measures in South Africa so the weak dysfunctional police men and women other there they can’t do anything. Army must to the work. Kuponda akachita mwano. Akhale ku quarantine basi amenewo. Palibenso zoti eee tikachita khaza anthu sativotera palibe kugula voti apa inu aChakwera. Ndipo a Malawi awuzeni zoona zokha zokha pankhani yoti munatumiza ma busi kudzatenga a Malawi ku South Africa kapena anti corruption ifufuze bwino lomwe ngati panali loop hole yandalama so called hiring buses to any company. A uzeni zoona aMalawi pa nkhani ya vaccine kuti simunagule koma ndi… Read more »

James Phiri
James Phiri
6 months ago

Test and trace whereby the person who tests positive and the contacts of those who test positive go into a 10-14 day isolation needs to be scaled up urgently.

Ndafera Nkhande
Ndafera Nkhande
6 months ago

Malawi Institute of Engineers probably assisted in design and supervision of the construction of the facility at Bingu Stadium and other sites.Returnees from RSA must not run away from quarantine, otherwise we are all going to perish.

Time Changes, be dynamic
Time Changes, be dynamic
6 months ago

I regard the way we handle funerals as one of the reasons why people have remained not well informed about covid. We are told that contact makes the spread of covid easy and also that it is spread through droplets via speaking or sneezing. Why then should dead people be rushed for burial even at night when the dead body can be properly wrapped say in a plastic material. This will allow decent and respectful burial ceremony where people can have the opportunity to hear for themselves about covid from medical professionals or church leaders. Funeral ceremonies have been used… Read more »

ERUTU
ERUTU
6 months ago

No no no to giving remains of COVID-19 to relatives for burial no no hospital should do this 🇲🇼😭

John Galu
John Galu
6 months ago

Wrapping bodies in plastic will deprive the dead of oxygen.

Galu Wapananji
Galu Wapananji
6 months ago

Umbuli. Mafunso enawa

Whiplash
Whiplash
6 months ago

Of course it was never going to be UK variation or the Brazilian one… Letting all those buses coming into Malawi has surely brought the south african variant. However the MWGOV would have played a better role in handling of the returnees for instance using MDF instead of police officers to man quarantine zones as that would have meant strict control on who goes out.

PelomaPepe
PelomaPepe
6 months ago
Reply to  Whiplash

Very true. We’re always reactive instead of being proactive.

Benjones87
Benjones87
6 months ago
Reply to  PelomaPepe

Unfortunately we as usual woke up very late.

Jonas
Jonas
6 months ago

Malawi Institute of Engineers ??? at a Covid 19 briefing ?? Can I be schooled a bit on this ?? Iam at a loss….

Mkanda Gudu
Mkanda Gudu
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

She was there to update the nation of what the Institute has been able to do in support of COVID-19 response. The institute has supported the administration is repurposing the BNS in Lilongwe into Field Hospital and Erection of Tents are Queen Elizabeth in Blantyre.

Bwana wa Ulesi
Bwana wa Ulesi
6 months ago
Reply to  Mkanda Gudu

Those tents at Queens or elsewhere don’t be fooled kuti its MIE Team. It’s WFP training those who are willing to do in-kind of work it can be either engineer or just a regular person. I remember working with them years ago where communities were trained on how to assemble those tents kuti azisungilamo chakudya after 2014-2015 Floods

Mabvuto
Mabvuto
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

A Jonas chonde kudekha kumathandiza moti inu simukudziwa kuti ma Engineers anapatsidwa ntchito yomanga ma Field hospital mumadera angapo monga ku Bingu stadium

Anzanufe
Anzanufe
6 months ago
Reply to  Mabvuto

More so, setting up of hospital equipment requires engineers as well. Amangwetu kkkkkkkk

Ginimbi, the illuminate, the likes of Bushiri
Reply to  Jonas

Yes she must be there as chemical engineers fall under her institution

Last edited 6 months ago by Ginimbi, the illuminate, the likes of Bushiri
Jesus is Lord
Jesus is Lord
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Yes, they are supposed to be there. Mind you ku chipatala kumakhalanso ma engineers i.e Biomedical engineers, chemical engineers to work on our medical machines such as the oxygen plants, beds fixing, drips machines, Lab machines and all those mechanical issues at the hospital, hence they are very important especially now that we are expanding our health facilities to take more patients, their work is of crucial importance to make non medical facilities like stadiums into medical ones.

President Mkango Manthakanjenjemereza
President Mkango Manthakanjenjemereza
6 months ago
Reply to  Jesus is Lord

Sukulu yako udaphunzira kuti? Engineering ku Malawi iri ku Poly conprising of Electrical, Mechanical, Quantity Surveying, Architect not your lab technian ogwira michimba ayi

Kenneth Lawson Bwanali
Kenneth Lawson Bwanali
6 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

u have a long way to go. nanga ndi izi zomwe mukakanike kumvesa nde olo wofotokezelayo ayambira pati

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