Malawi has the Indian variant of Covid-19, Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has confirmed.
According to Chiponda, Malawi has been collecting samples and a total of 739 samples have been sent to South Africa for genetic sequencing since January 2021.
The first lot included samples from October 2020 to February 2021. Among these, the most common variant was the South African (Beta) variant.
The second lot of 539 samples are still being analysed in South Africa. From this second lot, Malawi has received results for 84 samples.
“The results show that 14 samples have the Delta (Indian) variant and 56 had the Beta variant. All the 14 of the Delta variant are from the Salima Sugar Factory and have since recovered. We are expecting more results on the remaining samples and the public will be updated accordingly,” said Chiponda in a statement this evening.
Chiponda who is also chairperson of the taskforce has since assured the public that those cases whose samples were collected were appropriately isolated to ensure the minimal spread of the virus to other people.
“We have also intensified screening in our ports of entry and mandatory quarantine for all those that are coming from the risky countries. Though the virus is mutating, the basic preventive and containment measures remain the same,” the taskforce said.
Meanwhile, Malawi today has recorded 14 new COVID-19 cases, eight new recoveries and no new deaths.
Of the new cases, eight of the new cases are locally transmitted: five from Blantyre, two from Lilongwe, and one from Mangochi Districts while six cases are imported: three (from DRC) are new arrivals at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa, two (from Mozambique) in Mulanje, and one (from India) in Lilongwe Districts.
Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 34,360 cases including 1,156 deaths and 32,629 recoveries.