UNICEF Malawi COVID-19 Situation Report, 24-30 September 2020

Situation Report
Originally published



  • UNICEF through Malawi Red Cross continues to support government to strengthen surveillance systems and has trained an additional 41 members of the Rapid Response Team on screening and contact tracing. This is key in infection prevention and control considering that there is an increase in the number of travellers entering through Kamuzu International Airport and other land border crossings.

  • UNICEF is supporting the scale up of electronic integrated disease surveillance and reporting to improve reporting of suspected and confirmed cases from district to national level. Through Clinton Health Access Initiative and Luke International,
    UNICEF procured 489 tablets and distributed to 26 of the 29 local councils.

  • The UNICEF-supported back to school campaign led by the Ministry of Information has so far reached 280,000 people in 13 districts using multimedia channels including use

  • During the reporting period, UNICEF distributed 10 plastic water tanks (10,000-liter capacity each) to selected schools in Nsanje and Chikwawa through the respective District Environmental Health Officers. The tanks will be used as part of the equipment for the solar water schemes to ensure availability of safe water for drinking and hand washing.

Situation Overview

Malawi continues to register a reduction in the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases. During the reporting week, the country has registered 33 new cases compared to 38 in the previous week. The total number of active cases is also on a downward trend and now stands at 1,348, which represents 23 per cent of all registered cases. Of the total cases, 4,623 are locally transmitted and 1,149 are imported infections.

The total number recoveries registered in the reporting week (181), is higher than the number of new cases registered during the same period by about 83 percent. With four per cent more recoveries reported compared to the prior week, the total number of recoveries so far registered stands at 4,243 and represents 74 per cent of all cases. No new fatalities have been registered since the last report thus remaining at 179.

Since the opening of the Kamuzu International Airport for commercial flights on 1 September, about 4,970 travellers have been screened with no major reported incidences. All passengers are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result on departure and those arriving in Malawi are required to present a COVID-19 certificate for a negative result obtained in the last 72 hours.

Active tracing and monitoring of contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases are ongoing. Although, there has been a small improvement in tracing contacts and reporting of alerts from 71 in the previous week to 556 during the reporting period, the country continues to experience shortage of test kits.

This has led to reduction in the number laboratories conducting testing from 51 to eight (8). UNICEF is purchasing test kit consumables worth US$ 360,000 that will enable several laboratories to use Thermofisher test kits and utilize 20 test kits that were donated by the People’s Republic of China to the Ministry of Health. The government is working with engineers already in the country to optimize the current testing platforms to be open to Taqpath test kits as well.