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Coronavirus - Malawi: COVID-19 update (2 April 2021)

Malawi has registered 30 new COVID-19 cases, 111 new recoveries and one new death. All new cases are locally transmitted: 11 from Mzimba North, 10 from Blantyre, six from Lilongwe, and one each from Karonga, Machinga, and Mzimba South Districts. Please take note that 25 cases that were identified between 1st March and 23rd March 2021 have been added to the cumulative count: 19 from Phalombe and six from Blantyre. One new death was registered and is from Mzimba North District. To the families that have lost their loved during this pandemic, may you find peace, hope and love during this difficult times. May the departed souls rest in peace.

Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 33,639 cases including 1,119 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.33%). Of these cases, 2,119 are imported infections and 31,520 are locally transmitted. Cumulatively, 30,490 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 90.6%) and 134 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 1,896. In 24 hours, two cases were hospitalised while two were discharged. A total of 27 active cases are hospitalised: 11 in Lilongwe, nine in Blantyre, two in Salima, and one each in Zomba, Mangochi, Karonga, Thyolo, and Mchinji Districts. On testing, 554 COVID-19 tests were conducted. Of these, 117 tests were through SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Diagnostic test while the rest were through RT-PCR. The positive cases out of the total translates to a positivity rate of 5.4%. Cumulatively, 219,890 tests have been conducted in the country so far. On COVID-19 vaccination, cumulatively 154,801 doses have been administered in the country with 9,822 being administered.

I would like to remind the public that the current phase of the COVID-19 vaccination we are targeting the health workers and other social workers, those aged 60 years and above and those with underlying conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. The health workers are being prioritized to receive the vaccine because they are at high risk of getting the infection as they take care of the COVID-19 patients and suspected cases. It is important that all health workers should be vaccinated to ensure that they are protected while they are performing their duties. Apart from the frontline health workers, the first phase is also targeting other social workers, those that due to nature of their job, interacts with a lot of people.

As you are aware that COVID-19 has been shown to affect elderly and people with pre-existing chronic condition more adversely. The vaccine will help protect these categories of people from COVID-19 or from becoming severely ill even if acquired. It is my appeal to those that have been prioritised in the first phase to utilize this opportunity and get vaccinated. Please take note that the COVID-19 vaccination services are available during this Easter holidays in all Government and CHAM facilities and it is free of charge, For Lilongwe residents, please take note that additional sites have been opened at Gate way mall and Game complex and these sites will remain open the entire Easter holiday.

Getting vaccinated is one of many steps you can take to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 as Vaccines work with your immune system, your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Masks, hand washing and social distancing, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Remember the COVID19 vaccine is being rolled out to help to reduce deaths, the risk of hospitalization and severe diseases from COVID-19.