Imported cases of Covid-19 continue to dominate with 38 new ones reported yesterday against three cases of local transmissions, bringing the total number of the reported cases to 41.
In an update by the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 signed by co-chairperson Dr John Phuka, the imported cases were identified among 302 Malawians who returned from South Africa.
Reads the statement in part: “In the past two weeks, we have seen an increase in the number of Covid-19 imported cases being identified through Mwanza Border, especially from people that are coming from South Africa by bus.
“We have observed a high positivity rate among bus travellers in the most recent two batches of returnees. Risk of disease spread on the buses is high such that those who test negative at the border may be in incubation period and carrying the virus.”
While indicating that there was only one new recovery as of yesterday and no new death, the statement cautions returning residents to strictly observe a 14-day quarantine and go for further screening by contacting health officials in their respective areas.
Cumulatively, the country has recorded 6 202 cases, including 187 deaths. From the cumulative cases, 1 275 are imported infections and 4 927 local transmissions.
On the other hand, 5 664 cases have recovered while 76 are still being investigated. Authorities have also indicated that 107 were lost to follow-up.
According to the statement, out the total active cases, two have been admitted to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe.
“The average age of the cases is 36.7 years, the youngest case being aged one month, the oldest being 98 years old and 68.3 percent are male,” further reads the statement.
In addition, the statement further states that an accumulative 82 460 Covid-19 tests have so far been conducted.
In an earlier interview, Phuka said Malawians should continue to observe Covid-19 precautionary measures as the random increase in positive cases is a cause of worry.
He also expressed worry that both individuals and institutions have relaxed in terms of adherence to the precautionary measures despite the pandemic still existing.
On the other hand, public health expert Dr Titus Divala clarified in yesterday’s edition of The Nation that the rise in the cases is not a second wave of the pandemic currently being experienced in other countries.
He said the small random rises the country is currently seeing could just be part of normal and expected fluctuations, allaying fears that the second wave of the pandemic is in the country.
Malawi reported its first case of Covid-19 on April 2 this year. However, the country did not impose a lockdown as initially planned following public outcry that culminated in a court order that blocked implementation of a 21-day national lockdown.