Malawi

UNICEF Malawi COVID-19 Situation Report: 1 July - 10 August 2021

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Situation Report
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Posted
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Highlights

• During this reporting period, the country continued to register high numbers of new COVID-19 cases. Unlike the trend during the first and second waves there has been a shift in the age group of those affected to young people between the age of 18 to 35 years including two per cent of children under five years of age.

• A considerable increase in the number of patients requiring using Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) has been observed consequently increasing the demand for oxygen.

• On 7 August 2021, Malawi received 302,400 doses of the Johnson & Johnson's vaccines bringing the total of vaccine doses so far received in the country to 814,000.

• As of 5 August 2021, 463,236 people had received the first COVID-19 vaccine dose and 158,982 the second dose. The country plans to vaccinate 10.97 million people (60 per cent of the population).

• As part of the community mobilization interventions, UNICEF supported, 11,059 key influencers including political, religious leaders and young people who have been engaged to promote positive attitudes towards COVID-19.

Situation Overview

During this reporting period, Malawi continued to experience a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases. Unlike the trend in the first and second waves during which most of the cases were being reported in the cities of Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu, 75 per cent of the reported cases are from rural areas. Also noted in the third wave, is a shift in the age group to young people between the age of 18 to 35 years including two per cent of children under five years of age, a trend which was not observed during the first and second waves. There has also been an increased in the number of patients requiring continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) consequently increasing the demand for oxygen.

As of 10 August 2021, 359,914 tests had been conducted since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Of these, 56,574 turned out positive for COVID-19 with a positivity rate of 16.5 per cent. Over 95 per cent of the confirmed cases are local transmissions. A total of 41,492 cases (73.3 per cent) have so far recovered, while 12,976 cases are active, an increase of more than 90 per cent from the previous month. The number of hospital admissions has also increased from 62 last month to 398. A cumulative total of 1,874 deaths have been reported of which 1824 (over 95 percent) have been registered in 2021. The Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is at 3.31 per cent which is above the Global CFR.

On 7 August 2021, Malawi received 302,400 doses of the Johnson & Johnson's vaccines donated by the United States of America Government. This brings the total of vaccine doses so far received in the country to 814,000. As of 5 August 2021, 463,236 people had received the first COVID-19 vaccine dose and 158,982 the second dose. Additional doses of vaccines are expected to arrive in-country through the COVAX facility including 360,000 AZ doses from the regular COVAX allocation and Pfizer doses. Through the COVAX facility, UNICEF Malawi received 3,420,000 syringes and 34,225 safety boxes for the safe disposal of syringes used in the vaccination campaign.

Significant increase in vaccine demand has been observed as evident from the uptake for the 192,000 doses received on 24 July 2021 which was were consumed within one week. UNICEF has supported the Ministry of Health to fast track and secure regulatory approval for 1.34 million doses of AZ, Johnson & Johnson’s, and Pfizer vaccines from COVAX (USG, French and UK Donations) expected to be received in August and September 2021.