Health minister Chiponda paints grim COVID-19 picture in Malawi

Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has said in the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 427 new COVID-19 cases, 85 new recoveries and nine new deaths.

In a routine Covid-19 situation ‘update’ released on Thursday, July 8, 2021, the minister says of the new cases, 413 are locally transmitted.

Of this figure, 132 are from Blantyre, 65 from Lilongwe, 31 each from Mchinji and Ntchisi, 21 each from Mzimba South and Machinga, 19 from Thyolo, 17 from Kasungu, 13 from Zomba, 12 from Salima, 11 from Ntcheu, seven each from Mangochi and Mulanje, five each from Nkhotakota and Rumphi, four from Dedza, three each from Mzimba North, Balaka, and Dowa, two from Nkhata Bay, and one from Chiradzulu Districts.

Minister of Health Chiponda appeals for vigilance

According to the update, 14 cases are imported, with eight from Dowa, two from Salima, and one each from Blantyre, Machinga, Mangochi, and Mwanza Districts.

“Nine new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours; five from Blantyre, and one each from Chiradzulu, Mchinji, Salima, and Zomba 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,” says the minister in the update made available to Nyasa Times.

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 the update.

“This brings the total number of active cases to 2,843. In the past 24 hours, there were 30 new admissions in the treatment units while 15 cases were discharged. Currently, a total of 130 active cases are currently hospitalised; 43 in Blantyre, 37 in Lilongwe, 10 in Zomba, five each in Machinga and Kasungu, four each in Chiradzulu, Thyolo, and Mchinji, three each in Mzimba North and Balaka, two each in Mangochi, Mulanje, and Ntchisi, and one each in Chitipa, Dowa, Dedza, Nkhotakota, Mzimba South, and Karonga districts.

On testing, in the past 24 hours, 2,223 COVID-19 tests were conducted. Of these, 1,529 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 19.2% while a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 15.9%. Cumulatively, 279,398 tests have been conducted in the country so far.

On COVID-19 vaccination, Khumbize Chiponda says cumulatively, 385,242 and 43,165 people have received the first dose and second dose, respectively.

She says the COVID-19 vaccination remain paused hence no doses were administered over the past 24 hours. A total of 428,407 vaccine doses have been administered in the country so far, according to the minister.

“Today is another sad day for our country where we have recorded a high number of new cases (427), admissions (30) and deaths (9), this indicates that we are experiencing a rapid transmission of COVID-19 in our communities, It is time for all of us to take part in this COVID-19 fight by adhering to the COVID-19 preventive and containment measures. The time to act is now to ensure that we suppress the further transmission of the disease.

“As indicated yesterday (Wednesday) that the schools will not be closed though we are experiencing a resurgence of COVID-19 in the country.

“As this is the case, I would like to request teachers, parents/guardians, learners and school authorities to ensure that all COVID-19 preventive and containment measures for schools are strictly adhered to. It is important to continue implementing preventive and containment measures to ensure that the school environment remains safe thereby avoiding disruption of learning activities in schools.

“No one is safe until everyone else is safe. Seconds save lives – clean your hands! Protect yourself. Protect your loved ones. Protect everyone. Call toll free 929,” she concludes.

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