Malawi has recorded a new case and a death from the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), bringing the number of deaths to four and the total number confirmed cases to 83.
The death, according to Health Minister Jappie Mhango, is that of a 73-year-old man at Chilinde in Lilongwe, who tested positive for the virus on May 12.
He had no travel history and the minister said he may have contracted the virus from one of the Kaliyeka cases.
Said Mhango: “I am sad to report that one of the Covid-19 patients, a 73-year-old man who was admitted to Kamuzu Central Hospital’s quarantine facility, died on Saturday evening, bringing the total number that have passed on to four.
“We have also recorded an additional case involving a resident of Mbavi in Lilongwe, who returned from South Africa on May 14. Communities alerted health officials who rushed and collected samples which tested positive.”
Mhango said a team of health workers are tracing contacts for the new, so that they are also tested for Covid-19. The patient is currently in isolation.
On Friday, the ministry recorded 10 cases in Blantyre, Phalombe, Lilongwe and Mzuzu, out of which six were from local transmission.
Cumulatively, 31 of the cases have been recorded in Lilongwe, there are 24 in Blantyre, Thyolo comes third with 10, Nkhata Bay has five, Mzuzu is at four, Zomba has two while Karonga, Nkhotakota, Chikwawa, Mangochi, Ntcheu, Mulanje and Phalombe have one case each.
Mhango said the local transmissions, at 48, should become a serious concern for Malawians, urging people to exercise caution even during this campaign period.
Earlier, health experts rebuked politicians for disregarding Covid-19 precautionary measures during their campaign rallies, saying they are risking people’s lives at a time the pandemic is reaching its peak in the country.
Epidemiologist Dr Titus Divala, who is also a member of the Society of Medical Doctors, said politicians should sober up, appreciate that Covid-19 is real and that Malawi can only stop it by stopping its spread.