One of the over 400 people who recently returned from South Africa has passed on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to six members of one family in Kachere township in Blantyre.

On Sunday, the Ministry of Health through the co-chairperson of the Presidential Taskforce of COVID-19 announced that the country had recorded 29 new cases of the virus with 11 in the commercial city of Blantyre.

“Eleven new cases have been recorded in Blantyre, out of these seven cases are from one family based in Kachere, the index case (among the seven) arrived in the country from South Africa two weeks ago. The other two cases are a truck driver and his primary contact, resident in Lunzu and Machinjiri, respectively.

“The other confirmed case lives in Lunzu and had traveled to South Africa and the last Blantyre case is a resident of Chilomoni township that was identified at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital’s outpatient department and is currently stable under institutional isolation,” he said.

In Lilongwe, the situation is also similar as 12 cases have been recorded, nine of whom have been infected by two people.

“Four of the cases were screened at the Mwanza border as they were returning from South Africa, these cases are residents of Mangochi, Njolomole in Ntcheu, Jekete village in Chiradzulu (this is a first confirmed case in Chiradzulu) and the other one is still being investigated to determine the home district.

“The other two new cases are from Nchalo in Chikwawa; one is a contact of a confirmed case and the other one is still being investigated. Zomba has also registered one new case who is a contact of a confirmed case,” announced Dr Phuka.

Malawi has now recorded 438 cases including four deaths. Of these cases, 351 are imported infections and 76 are locally transmitted while 11 are still under investigation. Fifty-five of the total cases have now recovered bringing the total number of active cases to 379.

The average age of the cases is 31 years, the youngest case is aged 1 year, the oldest is 75 years and 66% are male.

The country has so far conducted 6423 COVID-19 tests in 20 COVID-19 testing sites.

“As you are aware that at the point of entry we are screening for COVID-19 among all the travellers coming into the country, those that are found to be COVID-19 positive should strictly adhere to isolation rules and those found negative should strictly adhere to self-quarantine rules for 14 days,” urged Dr Phuka.

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