The number of people admitted to healthcare service facilities due to coronavirus infection has declined in the past 30 days, but doctors have warned that more Covid waves could be in the offing.
On August 1 this year, the coronavirus positivity rate was at 23 percent, with 399 patients getting admitted to Covid isolation centres across the country.
However, the figures have been steadily declining and, by Saturday last week, there were 185 patients admitted to hospital, culminating in 214 less patients.
The positivity rate was at 8.3 percent on Saturday, with the recovery rate captured at 78 percent.
However, Society of Medical Doctors in Malawi (SMDM) has warned that the country might experience more Covid waves despite that cases have, of late, declined.
SMDM President Dr Victor Mithi said the decrease in cases of infection and hospitalisation could be due to changes in weather pattern.
“We are coming from winter and winter happens to be the hub of respiratory infections, of which Covid is one of them,” he said.
The medical expert said the other contributing factor could be people’s adherence to Covid preventative measures, including hand-sanitising, social-distancing and face-masking.
“But people should not relax but, rather, scale up efforts including the uptake of Covid vaccines [Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson] that are being administered in the country,” Mithi said.
He, however, said SMDM was not satisfied with Covid vaccine uptake levels.
“We are not satisfied because, by now, we would be talking about vaccine doses running out because we have been having few doses,” Mithi said.
The Presidential Taskforce on Covid (PTC) has indicated that data show that most cases being reported in Malawi are locally transmitted.
“Let me remind everyone that the chances of those confirmed positive transmitting the disease to those in close contact with them is very high,” Health Minister and PTC co-Chairperson Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda indicated in the Covid-update statement.
She added that a good number of coronavirus carriers were asymptomatic, necessitating the need to ensure adherence to Covid preventative and containment measures.
Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded over 60,313 cases of Covid since the first case was recorded in the country on April 2 2020. By August 28, only 404,930 people had been fully vaccinated.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.