COVID-19: Malawi loses Cabinet Minister Belekanya

Lingson Belekenyama

Minister of Local Government, Lingisoni Belekanyama has died. He was on a list of at least four cabinet ministers that had tested COVID-19 positive.

Minister of Home Land Security Richard Chimwendo lamented the death, describing it as sad that Malawi is losing people like Belekanyama. 

Writing on his Facebook Page Chimwendo said the death of Belekanyama was a big loss to the nation. 

The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has brought with it a surge in the number of cases and deaths for Malawi. 

Just a few days ago Malawi lost veteran broadcaster Maria Chidzanja Nkhoma who was with Zodiak Radio. 

On Monday, Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Information also succumbed to the virus.

Just within 24 hours, Malawi registered 452 new COVID-19 cases, 14 new recoveries, and 10 new deaths, quite unprecedented. 

Of the new cases, 278 of the new cases are locally transmitted infections: 125 from Lilongwe, 70 from Blantyre, 13 from Karonga, 10 each from Mwanza and Nkhotakota, eight from Mulanje, seven each from Machinga and Zomba, six from Dedza, five from Balaka, four each Kasungu and Nsanje, three from 
Thyolo, two each from Chikwawa and Dowa, and one each from Phalombe, Salima and Neno districts while 174 cases are imported infections: 154 were identified among 700 Malawians returning from South Africa who were being held at Mapanga Prison Training School while 20 were identified at Mwanza border through routine screening of people entering the country.

Four of the new deaths are from Lilongwe, three are from Blantyre, two form Zomba, and one Kasungu. 

According to the data from the Ministry of Health cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 9,027 cases including 235 deaths. Of these cases, 1,852 are imported infections and 7,175 are locally transmitted. Cumulatively, 5,838
cases have now recovered, 134 were lost to follow-up, and 76 are still being 
investigated to ascertain their outcome.