Malawi’s Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda says the country has registered 781 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours.
Chiponda who doubles as the Co-Chairperson of Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 says the country has also registered 139 new recoveries and 12 new deaths in the same period.
“Of the new cases, 774 are locally transmitted cases: 276 from Blantyre, 108 from Lilongwe, 42 from Zomba, 40 each from Mchinji and Kasungu, 36 from Mzimba South, 28 from Salima, 25 from Mangochi, 22 from Nkhotakota, 19 from Neno, 18 each from Dedza and Mulanje, 14 from Machinga, 13 each from Mzimba North and Ntchisi, 11 from Dowa, 10 from Ntcheu, eight from Chikwawa, seven each from Balaka and Chiradzulu, six from Thyolo, four from Karonga, three each from Nsanje and Rumphi, two from Phalombe, and one from Chitipa Districts while seven cases are imported: five from Dowa, and one each from Dedza and Zomba Districts,
“12 new deaths were registered in the past 24 hours; three from Salima, two each from Zomba and Thyolo, and one each from Neno, Dedza, Nkhotakota, Chiradzulu, and Machinga 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,” She says.
Chiponda adds “Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 40,713 cases including 1,276 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.13%). Of these cases, 2,506 are imported infections and 38,207 are locally transmitted. Cumulatively, 34,139 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 83.9%) and 232 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 5,066. In the past 24 hours, there were 50 new admissions in the treatment units while 23 cases were discharged,”
“Currently, a total of 201 active cases are currently hospitalised; 69 in Blantyre, 45 in Lilongwe, 11 in Zomba, 10 in Thyolo, six in Kasungu, Nkhotakota, and Ntchisi, five in Mzimba North and Chiradzulu, four each in Dowa, Dedza, Mchinji, and Ntcheu, three each in Salima, Balaka, Machinga, and Chitipa, two each in Mulanje, Karonga, and Chikwawa, and one each from Mangochi, Neno, Phalombe, and Rumphi Districts.”
On testing, the Minister of Health says in the past 24 hours, 3,154 COVID-19 tests were conducted. According to Chiponda, of these, 2,150 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 24.8% while a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 23.1%. Cumulatively, 290,809 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,”
Chiponda has urged Malawians to observe Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to defeat the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
“This week (12th to 18th July) has been set aside as World Mask Week 2021 to encourage continued mask wearing in a bid to help slow the spread of COVID-19. This global campaign
underlines a universal truth: masking in public, in combination with handwashing and physical distancing, is still one of the best ways we can protect ourselves and others against COVID-19, especially our most vulnerable community members as countries race to vaccinate their populations. The campaign is encouraging both individuals and organisations globally to support the continued importance of wearing a mask by sharing a statement on social media with #WorldMaskWeek and tagging others in their posts to continue wearing a mask in order to halt the spread of COVID-19,” she says.
The Minister of Health says during the period of the World Mask Week, people and businesses are encouraged to rally behind the significance of wearing a mask appropriately, not only during the week, but every day until we stop the spread of COVID-19 amidst us.
“Masks are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control. Apart from reducing the spread of COVID-19, facemasks play an important role in the prevention and control of other infectious respiratory disease transmission such as influenza. Consistent mask wearing can also reduce the spread of the virus among people who are infected with COVID-19, but do not have symptoms, or are unaware they have it,” Chiponda says.
The Minister of Health reminds Malawians that mask alone cannot protect them from COVID-19 and that compliance with other measures including physical distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and adequate ventilation in indoor settings is essential for reducing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.