Data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that Malawi is the fourth country in Africa where many people are succumbing to Covid-19.
A weekly epidemiological update from WHO shows that the countries reporting the highest number of new deaths in the past week were South Africa, followed by Zambia, Nigeria and Malawi.
It comes at a time when the country on Saturday reached the 1 000 mark on Covid-19 deaths since the pandemic started on April 2 2020.
Authorities blame the surge on delays in seeking medical care by Covid-19 patients.
Reads the WHO update: “The countries reporting the highest number of new deaths in the past week were South Africa [1 641 new deaths; 2.8 new deaths per 100 000; a 26 percent decrease], Zambia [101 new deaths; 0.5 new deaths per 100 000; a 7 percent increase], Nigeria [100 new deaths; <0.1 new deaths per 100 000; a 45 percent increase] and Malawi [100 new deaths; 0.5 new deaths per 100 000; a 33 percent decrease].”
By January 31, Malawi had recorded 23 963 cases, including 702 deaths, representing a case fatality rate of 2.9 percent. However, by February 20, the country had recorded 30 528 cases including 1 004 deaths.
This means that in just 20 days in February, the country recorded 6 565 cases, including 302 cases, showing a rising case fatality rate of 3.3 percent.
Minister of Health Khumbize Chiponda in a daily update on Covid-19 on Saturday, urged the public to seek medical care early once they experience Covid-19 symptoms.
She said: “As we re-open the schools on Monday, I would like to emphasise the need for all of us to strictly wear a face mask in all public places.”
Earlier, Society for Medical Doctors president Victor Mithi attributed the deaths to a number of factors, among them delays by people to present themselves to hospitals when they get sick.
“It looks like we are now on a downward trend on cases, which is encouraging. But the deaths are still high partly because people present themselves late to hospitals.
“We also have challenges in hospitals. We are thankful for the support we are getting, but oxygen is still a problem. The lack of it leads to some of these deaths. I am hoping that once we have the vaccines, we may reduce the deaths,” he said.
Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 30 742 cases, including 1 013 deaths, representing a case fatality rate of 3.3 percent. Of these cases, 2 027 are imported infections while 28 501 are locally transmitted