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Malawi COVID-19 cases rise to 23

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Malawi has registered six more COVID-19 cases with the past 24 hours, making the total cases to 23.

22
April

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Helath Dr. Dan Namarika announced in Blantyre on Wednesday when he briefed members of the media .

 

Dr. Namarika said one of the six is a person who lives in highly populous Kaliyeka Township in Lilongwe, which he said was a matter of great concern.


He said the ministry was currently tracing Seventeen more on suspicion that they were in contact with the new patients.

“It may not be easy because these people are coming from high density areas of our location, that is a major concern,” adding one of the patients is “quite sick while the others a mild case.”


Namarika said the Kuunika model which MOH is using projected Lilongwe to have the most infected with 1.5 million cases and 5,000 deaths if business continues to go on as usual.


He explained that if timely interventions can be implemented there could be a 75 percent reduction meaning 300,000 infections and 1,000 deaths which he called a “significant drop.”


The measures which Namarika was referring to include reducing movement and contact.

He pleaded with Malawians that if the nation was to deal with the pandemic, decisions have to be made and they have to be made now.

“A contact should infect no more than one person but the case of Kaliyeka where one person has infected four people is worrying because we can easily get to the exponential phase of the disease because if each one person can infect four people; it means those 17 that we are tracking multiply by four gets us to 100 people in the next day or two; in a month we can easily get a 1,000. So, we are concerned.

“The six cases emphasise challenges in Malawi like population dynamics, as Malawi is a communal society unlike the developed countries," he said.

Dr Namarika added that the Kuunika model predicted that if Malawians go on with business as usual, 16 million Malawians will be infected in one year with 483,000 that will require hospitalisation.

The statistics indicate that 85,000 of those will require critical care.


He warned that those with underlying health issues will be more affected: “The difference between Malawi and other countries is that the burden of the disease on people with backgrounds like HIV/ Tuberculosis, malaria will be significant and if you have coronavirus, we'll have large numbers of death in the younger population.”

Dr Namarika said they are observing the scenario because they will have all lot impact.


Malawi had planned to impose a 21-day lockdown to prevent the further spread of the virus but it has been thwarted by a court injunction.

In Malawi, the pandemic was declared a national disaster on 20 March 2020  and on 2 April 2020 the country registered its first three cases.

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