'Wear masks, local COVID-19 transmissions rising'

Dr Phuka
  • Imported infections 636, local transmissions 551

Chairperson of presidential task force on COVID-19 Dr Charles Phuka has urged the public to wear masks when going into crowded places to avoid contracting the virus as local transmissions appear to be on the rise.

On Monday, Malawi recorded 72 new COVID-19 cases, no new recoveries and one death, that of a 64-year-old woman who died at Balaka District Hospital.

Of the new cases, 64 are contacts of confirmed cases, four are imported and four are under investigation.

"Of the locally transmitted infections, 44 are from Blantyre, 17 from Lilongwe and one each from Chitipa, Dedza and Nkhotakota. The three cases under investigation were identified after presenting with symptoms at health facilities. Three of the imported cases were identified at Mwanza border as they were returning from South Africa while one was identified among the residents that were returning from Saudi Arabia," said Dr Phuka.

On Sunday, the Ministry of Health announced that it had recorded 110 new cases of which 103 were locally transmitted. And so in two days alone, the number of locally transmitted infections has jumped to 179.

Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 1,224 cases including 14 deaths. Of these, 636 are imported and 551 are locally transmitted infections while 37 are said to be still under investigation, 260 have recovered and 950 are active.

With local cases on the rise, Dr Phuka has urged Malawians to protect themselves.

"Those that are COVID-19 positive should self-isolate and put on a medical mask all the time.

"COVID-19 is often severe in older people and/or those that have health conditions like lung disease, diabetes or conditions that affect the immune system. If you are at high risk, practise preventive measures to minimise the risk of getting infected," advises Dr Phuka.