Malawi is registering a skyrocketing increase in infections of the new Covid-19 Indian variant and, as Nyasa Times has learnt, 81.2 percent of those that have been infected in the last month are those that have not been vaccinated, a development Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, says proves that the vaccine is effective.
It has been revealed that 225 of the 277 Covid-19 patients who were admitted in the country’s hospitals – between June 26 and July 8 – have not been vaccinated while 35 patients, representing 12.6 percent, have only had one AstraZeneca jab.
11 of the 277 have been fully vaccinated—representing four percent of those that were infected—an indication Chiponda says should give encouragement to Malawians that the vaccine is working.
Kandodo, co-chairperson of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19, whose ministry announced new preventive measures to combat the pandemic following an upsurge of infections in the last few days, said Malawians now had all the reasons to go and get jabbed.
“The statistics show that the AstraZeneca vaccine that we are administering in this country is effective,” she said, “I, therefore, urge all Malawians to go to their nearest health facility and get jabbed.”
According to Chiponda, Malawi is expecting a fresh lot of doses of AstraZeneca donation at the end of July.
“We will receive 192 000 doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine next Thursday,” Chiponda wrote on her official Facebook page on Saturday, emphasizing the need for Malawians to go out in large numbers to get their jabs.
Unlike during the first phase of the massive vaccination exercise when hesitancy was rife, Malawians turned up en masse for the second phase that began on June 3.
Health facilities panicked as they ran out of doses against the demanding population.
Associate Professor Adamson Muula, a public health expert and lecturer at the College of Medicine, has also weighed in on the need for people to get vaccinated saying it is the only way out to curb the pandemic.
Muula doubted the effectiveness of the new Covid-19 measures which, among others, reinstated rules that public gatherings should be reduced to 100 and indoor to 50 saying they meant nothing if the citizenry kept shunning the jab.
“What is crucial is that people should be encouraged to get the jab. It is the most important aspect of curbing this pandemic,” said Muula.
Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 37,983 cases including 1,227 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.23%). Of these cases, 2,479 are imported infections and 35,504 are locally transmitted. Cumulatively, 33,681 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 88.7%) and 232 were lost to follow-up, according to a Centre for Disease Control (CDC) update.
The UNDP says the growing COVID-19 crisis threatens to disproportionately hit developing countries like Malawi, not only as a health crisis in the short term but as a devastating social and economic crisis over the months and years to come.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :