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Coronavirus infects 270 healthcare workers

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A total of 276 healthcare workers have contracted coronavirus and are isolating, a move that is likely to exert pressure on the public healthcare service delivery system.

Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has lamented the situation.

She said there have, of late, been increased cases of Covid among healthcare workers.

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“It is something of great concern that, lately, an increasing number of our healthcare workers (276 the past week alone) are getting infected with the virus themselves and the health system is feeling the burden of a contracting health workforce as a result,” Kandodo Chiponda said.

However, the Health Minister-cum-Presidential Taskforce on Covid co- Chairperson, said, at a press briefing held in Lilongwe on Tuesday, that more Covid-related deaths and infections have been registered in 2021 than in 2020.

Malawi recorded its first case of Covid on April 2 2020.

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The minister said cases of coronavirus infection have increased by 91 percent this year.

A total of 2,350 people have died since the first three cases of Covid were recorded in Malawi last year, of whom 2,161 have died this year.

“We have lost loved ones to the pandemic, productive citizens to the nation and, sadly, some children have become orphans,” Kandodo Chiponda.

Meanwhile, the ministry has disclosed that Covid vaccination for children aged between 12 and 17 years will commence on January 1 2021 as one way of protecting children from the pandemic.

The children would be given Pfizer vaccine, which requires two shots, with the ministry urging parents and guardians to take their children to vaccination centres.

Kandodo Chiponda urged parents and guardians to take their children inoculation before they go to school in January.

By yesterday, the country had used all the Astrazeneca vaccine doses that were set to expire on Friday this week.

Infections have since increased by 122.6 percent in the week between December 20 and 26, with 6,328 new cases. Cases of death and admission have also increased.

Between April 2 2020 and December 29 this year, 73,238 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Malawi.

The average positivity rate is now at 41.2 percent at the time the country is battling with the fourth wave of the pandemic, largely fuelled by a coronavirus variant known as Omicron, which medical experts rate as highly infectious.

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