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Management and containment of a SARS-CoV-2 Beta variant outbreak at the Malawi University of Science and Technology
Gama Petulo Bandawe; Petros Chigwechokha; Precious Kunyenje; Yohane Kazembe; Jeverson Mwale; Maladalitso Kamaliza; Mtisunge Mpakati; Yanjanani Nyakanyaka; Charles Makamo; Saizi Kimu; Mwayiwawo Madanitsa; Joseph Bitilinyu-Bangoh; Tonney Nyirenda; Richard Luhanga; Martha Sambani; Bernard Mvula; Jennifer Giandhari; Sureshnee Pillay; Yashnee Naidoo; Upasana Ramphal; Emmanuel James San; Houriiyah Tegally; Eduan Wilkinson; Tulio de Oliveira; Address Malata.
  • Gama Petulo Bandawe; Malawi University of Science and Technology
  • Petros Chigwechokha; Malawi University of Science and Technology
  • Precious Kunyenje; Malawi University of Science and Technology
  • Yohane Kazembe; Malawi University of Science and Technology
  • Jeverson Mwale; Malawi University of Science and Technology
  • Maladalitso Kamaliza; Malawi University of Science and Technology
  • Mtisunge Mpakati; Malawi University of Science and Technology
  • Yanjanani Nyakanyaka; Malawi University of Science and Technology
  • Charles Makamo; Malawi University of Science and Technology
  • Saizi Kimu; Malawi University of Science and Technology
  • Mwayiwawo Madanitsa; Malawi University of Science and Technology
  • Joseph Bitilinyu-Bangoh; Ministry of Health, Malawi
  • Tonney Nyirenda; Kamuzu University of Health Sciences
  • Richard Luhanga; DREAM Molecular Laboratory, Blantyre, Malawi
  • Martha Sambani; Malawi University of Science and Technology
  • Bernard Mvula; Public Health Institute of Malawi
  • Jennifer Giandhari; University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
  • Sureshnee Pillay; University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
  • Yashnee Naidoo; University Of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
  • Upasana Ramphal; University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
  • Emmanuel James San; University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
  • Houriiyah Tegally; University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
  • Eduan Wilkinson; University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
  • Tulio de Oliveira; University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Address Malata; Malawi University of Science and Technology
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-21266298
ABSTRACT
Outbreaks of COVID at university campuses can spread rapidly and threaten the broader community. We describe the management of an outbreak at a Malawian university in April-May 2021 during Malawis second wave. Classes were suspended following detection of infections by routine testing and campus-wide PCR mass testing was conducted. Fifty seven cases were recorded, 55 among students, two among staff. Classes resumed 28 days after suspension following two weeks without cases. Just 6.3% of full-time staff and 87.4% of outsourced staff tested while 65% of students at the main campus and 74% at the extension campus were tested. Final year students had significantly higher positivity and lower testing coverage compared to freshmen. All viruses sequenced were beta variant and at least four separate virus introductions onto campus were observed. These findings are useful for development of campus outbreak responses and indicate the need to emphasize staff, males and senior students in testing. Article Summary LineSuccessful management of a campus outbreak using test trace and isolate approach with resumption within a month following suspension of all in-person classes. Trends in voluntary testing by gender, age and year of study that can help in formation of future management approaches.
Full text: Available Collection: Preprints Database: medRxiv Document Type: Preprint Language: English Year: 2021

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Full text: Available Collection: Preprints Database: medRxiv Document Type: Preprint Language: English Year: 2021
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