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‘Covid death toll could have hit 7,000’

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The Presidential Taskforce on Covid has said Malawi’s Covid death toll could have been three times more if the authorities had not moved with speed to get vaccines.

Taskforce co-chairperson Wilfred Chalamira Nkhoma said this at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe when taskforce members presented a Covid update report to President Lazarus Chakwera.

According to Chalamira Nkhoma, although the country has registered over 2,000 Covid-related deaths, the number could have been over 7,000 had it been that some Malawians were not vaccinated.

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He told Chakwera that the highest number of Covid cases was recorded among the youthful population with a median age of 34 but that the highest fatalities have been recorded among elderly people with a median age of 64.

Chalamira Nkhoma said, since the first case of coronavirus was registered in the country in April 2020, Malawi had built about 383 classroom blocks, of which 374 are completed; sunk boreholes in primary schools, and; recruited more healthcare workers.

He said a number of hospitals upgraded their facilities to help them cope with demands of the pandemic.

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Speaking after receiving the report, Chakwera said it was not a secret that Covid had impacted the whole world.

He said countries such as Malawi had been adversely affected because they are at the very end of the supply chain.

The President hailed the Presidential Taskforce on Covid for saving 4,600 Malawians even though the country had lost over 2,000 people to the pandemic.

Chakwera decried misinformation around Covid vaccination, saying it had affected the uptake of Covid vaccines.

He said the government would continue sensitising Malawians to the importance of getting vaccinated.

Chakwera asked the taskforce to pay extra attention to Covid resource utilisation to ensure accountability and transparency.

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