Mutated coronavirus variant warning to Malawi as Covid-19 cases keep rising

Malawians have been put on alert on a  mutated variant of the novel coronavirus many countries including some African countries such as South Africa, which are said to be spreading faster than the primary variant as the country has registered 23 new Covid-19 cases from the 272 tests done by Tuesday bringing the total number of active cases to 323.

Phuka: Much as we have imported cases influencing the status, community transmission is also rising especially in Blantyre and Lilongwe – the disease hotspot districts.

In a Tuesday’s situation report from co-chairperson of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19, Dr. John Phuka, the country has registered no new recoveries, and no new deaths.

Of the new cases, the report says, 17 are locally transmitted infections: 12 from Blantyre, four from Lilongwe and one from Thyolo while six cases are imported infections identified through routine screening at Mwanza border.

Three of these imported cases are from Blantyre, and one each from Mangochi, Mzimba South and Zomba Districts.

Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 6,377 cases including 188 deaths and of these cases, 1,366 are imported infections and 5,015 are locally transmitted.

Cumulatively, 5 682 cases have now recovered, 108 were lost to follow-up, and 76 are still being investigated to ascertain their outcome.

The report says of the active cases, 14 cases are currently admitted — seven at Kamuzu Central Hospital and seven  at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.

Phuka says in his report that the data shows that active cases has surpassed the 300 mark since the lowest record of 30 active cases two and half weeks ago.

“This alarming speed with 10-fold increase and at least three times doubling speed in just two weeks,” he said.

“Also note that local transmission has surpassed the 5 000 mark. Much as we have imported cases influencing the status, community transmission is also rising especially in Blantyre and Lilongwe – the disease hotspot districts.

“This is a big challenge at a time when many factors put us at high risk of contracting the disease.”

Phuka warns  of a new, potentially more infectious variant of the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19  said to be spreading faster than the primary variant.

“This is putting everyone at high risk of contracting this virus especially that we have socio-economic travels with these countries.

“The risk is even higher during this festive holidays when travel and celebrations are at peak. Correspondingly, as the number of cases is rising so is the number of admissions as well as deaths.”

To avoid these devasting outcomes, Phuka urges the to adhere to all preventive measures of Covid-19 as taught by Ministry of Health such as washing hands, wearing face mask and social distance as well as  seeking care early upon development of symptoms of Covid-19.

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1 year ago

Not a mutated “variant”; but rather, mutated “variants”: the variant in South Africa is not the same as the one in UK. It’s believed that the new wave of coronavirus infections in South Africa are driven by the mutated variant. Since most of our imported cases in Malawi are from South Africa, I think it’s safe to assume that the South African variant is already here. So it’s amazing to see that we aren’t on lockdown yet. When you go to supermarkets — let alone ordinary markets— there is hardly any social distancing. Faithfuls are singing their hearts out for… Read more »

1 year ago
Reply to  Ngombwax

I agree. We are just a stupid population!

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