By Charles Phiri:
Minister of Civic Education and National Unity (MoCENU) Timothy Mtambo has said about 27,717 have been vaccinated in the past week, bringing the total number of those who have receive the jab to 285,824 since the official launch of the vaccine on March 11, 2021.
Speaking during a Daily Briefing on Covid-19 pandemic and vaccine on Thursday, Mtambo also said that a lot of people who were found with the disease are recovering.
“We have registered no death in the last four days. This is a clear indication that we can win the fight against COVID-19. It is pleasing to note that the number of people receiving the vaccine keeps on increasing. However, its concerning that the number of people getting tested is not improving,” he said
On COVID-19 third wave that has hit countries in South East Asia like India where very high numbers of infection and death have been registered, Mtambo said government is observing the situation with keen interest to avoid a third wave in Malawi.
“We have noted with concern the threat of importation of new variants of the virus from other regions and countries, notably from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh where a new wave of the pandemic is currently spreading morbidity and mortality impact.
“To guard against the threat of importation and spread of the new variant from the Indian subcontinent in the country a resolution was reached to ban all but essential travel from the affected countries and those who have resided in these countries for at least the previous seven days. It is however, everyone’s role to make sure that this variant does not get and spread in the country. It is important to note that the variant from India is attacking people of all ages,” said Mtambo
He said MoCENU in collaboration with the Ministry of health, and National Initiative for Civic Education (NICE) Trust and various partners will continue to sensitize on the benefits of the vaccine as well as to mobilise the people to receive the vaccine.
“Such awareness activities will be on going to ensure that as many people as possible get correct messages and information on the vaccine and the COVID -19 pandemic in general. I would like to emphasize that COVID-19 awareness is a collective responsibility, and we are implementing this for the good of the nation. We need our beloved citizens to know the truth for them to make informed decision and be saved from the pandemic. My Ministry would like to assure all Malawians that they should not be afraid of the Vaccine. It is safe and protective,” said the minister adding that as the world is celebrating the Immunization Week, government is still administering the other routine vaccinations that offer protection against other diseases like pneumonia and diarrhoea.
“This is a week set aside with an aim of promoting the use of vaccines in protecting people of all ages against various diseases, let me emphasize the importance of immunization that saves millions of lives every year and is widely recognized as one of the world’s most successful health interventions. The theme for this year is “Vaccines bring us closer” which calls for greater engagement on the issues of immunization as we promote the importance of vaccination in bringing people together, improve trust, health and wellbeing of the population.
“The theme is very important this time around when we have newer vaccines for protection against COVID-19 disease.
“As we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic let me remind everyone that the COVID-19 vaccine helps to reduce deaths, risk of hospitalization and severe disease from COVID-19. It is important to know that getting vaccinated is one of the steps you can take to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. We must adhere to the other measures namely; appropriate wearing of masks, hand washing and social distancing so as to reduce the chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others,” he said.