Malawi yesterday registered 45 new Covid-19 cases, no new recoveries and one new death, the Public Health Institute of Malawi (PHIM) report showed yesterday.
The death of a 56-year old man at the Kameza Treatment Centre in Blantyre yesterday, brings to 13 the number of people who have succumbed to the pandemic, with 1 005 confirmed cases.
The report indicates that of the new cases, 33 are contacts of confirmed cases while four are imported. Eight cases are under investigation from Blantyre.
Of the locally transmitted infections, 28 are from Blantyre, two from Mzimba of which one is a healthworker. Mzuzu, Rumphi and Karonga have one new case each. Two of the imported cases are from Balaka who just returned from South Africa while the other two are from Kenya but resident in Blantyre and Lilongwe.
The report shows that the novel coronavirus continues to soar in the cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
Out of 315 local transmissions cases registered as of Thursday, 282 cases, representing 89.5 percent, were from the three cities. Of the positive cases, 83 are health workers.
The report further indicates that as of June 26 2020, Malawi had registered 1 005 confirmed cases spread across all districts except Likoma and Ntchisi. Out of these cases, 620 representing 64.6
The deadly pandemic, which started in Wuhan City in China last December, has so far seen 260 are recoveries.
In an interview yesterday, Ministry of Health chief director of health services Charles Mwansambo hinted that local transmissions are increasing in cities because people returning from other countries have ended up in cities.
He confirmed that 83 frontline health workers, comprising clinicians, nurses, support staff and others, have tested positive since the country registered its first three Covid-19 cases on April 2 2020.
Said Mwansambo: “Looking at our data, most of those who got sick were either admitted in Blantyre or Lilongwe or Mzuzu.
“I guess for this one [rise in local transmissions in cities] is because most of those that had the disease ended up in our central hospitals. Some of them, before passing on or discharged, may have passed it on to other people”.
Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) executive director George Jobe said it is easy to trace contacts in cities than in rural areas. He added that some of the coronavirus contacts may have ended up in hard-to-reach areas.
Observed Jobe: “We may also have many people who are coronavirus positive in rural areas, but have not been tested.
“For example, if we take people who tested positive but escaped from Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, some went to rural areas and are yet to be traced. There is a possibility that they have also transmitted to others.”
According to Phim report, out of 960 cases, 619 people (433 male and 186 female) representing 64.5 percent, are youth aged between 18 and 39 years.
About 71 percent of people who were confirmed positive are male.