A comparative analysis on cases of Covid-19 between December 2020 and December 2021 shows that the country is recording more cases this year as compared to last year.
Health experts fear the Omicron variant is spreading faster than imagined.
Between December 1 and December 20 last year, the country recorded 133 cases, however 3 307 cases have been recorded during the same period this year, representing a 2 486 percent rise.
In the period under review last year, the country lost seven people to Covid 19, but this year, the number of deaths has declined to two.
Before Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda announced the existence of the Omicron variant in the country on December 9, Malawi had just recorded 154 cases. But between December 10 and December 21, the country went on to register 4 096 cases.
In random interviews, epidemiologists, activists and public health experts attest to how fast Omicron is spreading.
They attribute the quick spread of the virus to low vaccine uptake and disregard of Covid-19 prevention guidelines.
Epidemiologist Titus Divala on Tuesday warned that if the spread is not controlled, more deaths will occur because hospitals will be overwhelmed.
He said the positive signals coming out of South Africa of a potentially less disastrous epidemic with fast transmission, but fewer fatalities, should not make us lose our guard this early.
Divala said: “We do not know yet what is keeping deaths much lower than previous waves, but know that in South Africa they have more vaccinated people, their vaccination was systematic starting with all old people and high-risk groups.”
He then urged mass vaccinations, 100 percent mask use, full avoidance of crowded places, an end to indoor meetings, and sustained hand hygiene.
In a separate interview, Society of Medical Doctors president Victor Mithi said they have also noticed a rise in the cases, a development which he stated was coming from the Omicron variant.
He said: “This is also just proving that Omicron variant is perhaps a super spreader as compared to the Delta variant.
“However, we are relieved that even though this is the case, we still have few admitted cases and people are presenting with mild symptoms.”
Mithi urged the need to ensure that many people get the jab.
In a daily update on Monday, Chiponda said preliminary evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of re-infection with Omicron by people who have previously had Covid-19.
The minister pleaded with the masses to continue following preventive guidelines, as well as getting the jabs, saying Malawi has adequate stocks of Covid-19 vaccines in all vaccination sites.
In November, the World Health Organisation (WHO) designated Omicron as a variant of concern, indicating, it has several mutations that may have an impact on how it behaves, for example, on how easily it spreads or the severity of illness it causes. Malawi reported its first three Covid-19 cases on April 2 2020, barely a fortnight after the WHO had declared Covid-19-which originated from Wuhan, China in December 2019, a global pandemic.