Situation in Numbers as of 20 October 2020
5,861 confirmed cases
58,225 tested samples
922 active cases
• A slight increase in new COVID-19 cases has been observed over the last two weeks from 18 to 35 and 39. Although it is too early to draw any conclusions, the more than double rise in new cases must be monitored closely. One additional death has been recorded during the two-week period.
• Schools at all levels of education in Malawi opened fully on 12 October. As part of efforts to decongest schools and maintain social distancing, UNICEF distributed 25 classroom-sized tents to seven schools in Blantyre and Lilongwe benefitting 50,329 learners. UNICEF through the Education cluster is exploring alternative ways of decongesting classrooms and exercising preventative measures at school.
• UNICEF supported the government to develop an issues paper and a road map on teenage pregnancy and child marriage to disseminate the findings from the government-led assessment. This action follows findings from a Malawi government-led COVID-19 rapid assessment on teenage pregnancies and child marriages which shows a 11 per cent increase in teenage pregnancies in the period of March to July 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
As of 20 October, 5,861 cases of COVID-19 have been registered in Malawi. A slight increase of new cases has been observed over the last two weeks from 18 as at the last report to 35 and 40 in the two subsequent two weeks. Although it is too early to draw any conclusions, the more than double rise in new cases must be monitored closely.
Two additional deaths have been recorded during the two-week period bringing the total number of deaths to 182. A significant number of people, have also recovered, leaving 922 active cases under follow up. The emergency treatment units have not been occupied for more than four weeks now and all cases are being managed at home.
The number of new, imported cases has also declined, over the past two weeks with 5 cases imported, three of which are refugees coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). One new death was registered since the last report and the total number of fatalities is at 181 (CFR = 3.09%).
Shortage of test kits continues to haunt the surveillance in country, with only 5 or six laboratories out of 51 conducting tests regularly while the rest are not functioning. While all travellers coming to Malawi are required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test, some continue to come without test results. The MoH has revised its protocol that all people coming without test results will be tested on arrival and will proceed to selfquarantine, while those coming with negative test results will proceed to self-monitoring, which has no restriction of movement. With this revision compounded by re-opening of schools and universities, there is a high possibility of flaring up of COVID-19 cases in Malawi in the coming weeks.