President Chakwera receiving the second jab on Friday
By Mphatso Nkuonera, MANA
President Lazarus Chakwera has appealed to citizens in the country to take CoVID-19 vaccination a must in order to prevent further spread of the virus and save lives.
He made these remarks on Friday at Mthunthama State Residence during the launch of the second vaccination of AstraZeneca vaccine.
“AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and we must disregard any misinformation taking place, this is why the Vice-President and I will again today get the jab publicly to prove that all is well with this exercise.
“We must continue to follow all preventative measures like, not being in big crowds and above all, we must pray to God to protect us from this deadly pandemic,” he said.
Chakwera and Chilima both first got vaccinated on March 11, 2021, at Zomba State Residence and in Mzuzu respectively, where they both appealed to citizens to follow suit.
Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda warned of a possible third wave, which has hit other countries, saying it has not spared Malawi.
“Research has shown that once a large population is vaccinated, the new cases are very low which means that the jab is very meaningful” she said.
As of Saturday evening, May 5, a cumulatively number of 358,989 people have received the first dose with 735 people receiving the first
dose in the past 24 hours of Saturday while cumulatively, 19 people have so far received the second dose.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Charles Mwansambo said the second jab should be taken after 12 weeks from the first jab.
“We have started with staff from Ministry of Heath since they were the first to take the vaccination and the rest will follow according to the dates of the first jab,” he said.
Meanwhile, as of Saturday, there were 13 new CoVID-19 cases, 11 new recoveries and no new deaths.
A situation report from the presidential taskforce on CoVID-19 says cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 34,384 cases including 1,156 deaths with case fatality rate at 3.36%.
Cumulatively, 32,660 cases have now recovered — at recovery rate of 95% — while 232 were lost to follow-up, bringing the total number of active cases to 336.
There was one new admission in the treatment units while two cases were discharged and currently, a total of 10 active cases are currently hospitalised — seven in Blantyre and three in Zomba Districts.
The positivity rate out of the total number tested on Saturday (470) is at 2.8% while a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 2.1%
In her situation report, Health Minister Kandodo Chiponda said though there is a reduced number of new confirmed cases, there are reports from other countries including some of our neighbouring countries of an increased number of new cases.
“As we are living in a global village, this is putting our country at a risk of importing new cases,” she said. “Let me appeal to those that travel frequently outside our country including the cross border traders and truck drivers to strictly adhere to the CoVID-19 preventive measures all the time.
“This will help to reduce the risk of contracting the disease while traveling and at the same time safeguarding our country from importing more cases. It is important to take keen interest on the CoVID-19 situation of the destination country and travel only if it is essential to avoid putting yourself, your relatives and friends at risk.
“It is important also to ensure that we are adhering to the travel requirements such as having a valid negative PCR certificate and also use the official borders to ensure that we are screened properly.”
She warned the public that there are some people that are coming into the country using uncharted routes thereby posing a huge risk of importing new infections.
She has since appealed to communities along the borders to desist from aiding those using the uncharted routes but to report to the law enforcement agencies when they observe anyone using the uncharted routes.—Additional reporting by Duncan Mlanjira, Maravi Express