Malawi Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Rise to 8, As First Death Recorded - Minister

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Minister of Health and Population Jappie Mhango confirmed on Tuesday that the number of confirmed Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in the country has risen to eight with one death recorded from the respiratory illness.

Minister of Health, Mhango revealed the new statistics.

The minister was speaking when he fronted a news conference in Lilongwe on Tuesday where he announced that the country has recorded the death of 51-year-old Malawian of Asian origin who died in the early hours of Tuesday in Blantyre.

He said the woman had just recently returned from UK and was the 5th patient to test positive from COVID-19.

"She had an underlining medical condition," said minister Mhango, who is also chairperson of the Special Cabinet Committee on COVID-19.

He said the Blantyre District Health Office, Environmental Health Team is assisting with the burial arrangements.

"As a nation we grieve with the family of the deceased and I urge you all to respect their privacy," he said.

Mhango has also announced that Malawi has recorded three more new cases bringing the total numbet to 8 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

"One case in Blantyre is a 34 year lady family contact of the first case that was registered on 3 April 2020. The second case is a 28 year old lady who travelled from London, UK on 19 March, 2020.

"The person confirmed in Chikwawa is a 30 year old gentleman who travelled from South Africa on 16 March, 2020," he said.

The minister added: "This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 8, including 1 death."

Mhango urged Malawians to continue to observe the prevention guidelines which have been put in place.

Observe self-quarantine rules as provided if you have recently returned from a hot spot country

President Peter Mutharika, who announced the first three cases in the country last Thursday, on March 20 banned public gatherings of more than 100 people and ordered closure of schools from March 23 as part of precautionary measures to guard against COVID-19.

Mutharika on Saturday did not rule out a national lockdown

Saturday announced additional measures, including a 10 percent cut in his salary and that of his Cabinet for three months, a reduction in fuel prices, softening of tax and loan repayments, among other things.

Following the President's announcements, the country's estranged Vice-President Saulos Chilima committed 100 percent of his estimated K1.7 million monthly pay to the cause for three months.

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