Malawi continues to register spiralling coronavirus infection rate and public hospitals are struggling to cope with the second wave with 15 related deaths reported on Sunday and 269 new virus pandemic cases have been registered with 15 as new recoveries as President Lazarus Chakwera has asked Malawians to go into self-isolation and consult healthcare workers if they notice symptoms.
Local transmissions are still on the rise as 267 of new case are local, bring the total of active cases at 2,316.
Of the active cases, 89 are admitted in 11 hospitals across the country -- 41 in Blantyre, 30 in Lilongwe, five in Zomba, three each in Mzimba North and Nkhotakota, two in Balaka, and one each in Dowa, Mchinji, Rumphi, Chikwawa, and Mulanje.
Two of the new deaths are from Lilongwe (61-year-old male and 86-year-old female), and one each from Chikwawa (54-year-old), Thyolo (61-year-old) and Zomba (35-year-old).
Co-chairperson of the Presidential taskforce on Covid-19, Dr. John Phuka said of the new cases, 70 from Lilongwe, 50 from Salima, 45 from Blantyre, 31 from Zomba, 13 from Dowa, nine from Mzimba South, six from Chikwawa, five each from Balaka, Karonga, Mangochi, Mulanje, and Nkhotakota, four from Mwanza, three each from Kasungu, and Neno, two from Mchinji and one each from Chiradzulu, Chitipa, Dedza, Ntchisi, Phalombe, and Rumphi districts while two imported cases are new refugees at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa District.
Phuka said he joins President Chakwera to request everyone to act collectively to stop the further spread of Covid-19.
"Let me emphasize that the choices that we make as individuals, families and communities will make the disease to spread further or to stop spreading.
"In as much as health care workers are doing a commendable job in this pandemic, we can ease their pressure of work and save the limited resources if we all choose to strictly adhere to the preventive and containment measures. The best time to act is now before the system gets overwhelmed," said Phuka.
The virus that causes Covid-19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or exhales, according to World Health Organisation.
Symptoms from people with Covid-19 range from fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, nausea or vomiting and diarrhoea.
Phuka said the most important preventive measures t are observing physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette including proper wearing of facemask and ensuring adequate ventilation when having activities indoor.
"These measures are essential for reducing the spread of Covid-19. Everyone must continue taking steps to protect themselves and others from virus transmission.
"Watch your distance! Wash your hands! Wear your mask! Seek for care early upon development of symptoms of Covid-19," Phuka said.
During his address on radio Saturday, President Chakwera said everyone was at risk of contracting Covid-19.
He said Cabinet ministers, members of Parliament, civil servants, the media, opposition party members, the clergy and many others have been affected.
"This virus does not care if you have a lot of money. The virus does not care if you are good-looking. The virus dies not care if you are young. The virus does not care if you are educated or whatever position you hold.
"The virus has now affected all sectors of the society. Everyone is at risk," said Chakwera.
The President, an ordained evangelical pastor, said he was going into a 21-day fasting and prayer plan, urging Malawians to also put their faith in God.
Chakwera urged people to be prayer warriors for God to heal the country.
Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 8,575 cases including 225 deaths and of these cases, 1,678 are imported infections and 6,896 are locally transmitted.