By Wezzie Gausi
Minister of Health and Population Jappie Mhango, who is also chairing the Special Ministerial Committee on Coronavirus pandemic has said Malawi has recorded another Covid-19 case in the past 24 hours, bringing the number to 13.
Two people, according to Mhango, have since succumbed to ailments that are suspected to be related to Covid-19. He was speaking Sunday during government’s update on the situation of the Covid-19 in the country.
Mhango said so far, from the samples that were collected, 13 tested positive while 298 tested negative.
The minister said the continued registering of Covid-19 cases in the country calls for serious action for people to remain safe from the disease.
“However, as government, we have noted with concern that some people are shunning away from self-quarantine measures which put a lot of lives at danger. Henceforth, we have come up with institutional quarantine places where such people will be sent to be monitored and quarantined if they are found,” Mhango said.
Further to that, he said the setting of a laboratory in Mzuzu has been finalised and testing of samples from the Northern Region has started.
He also said the government has heard grievances of health workers and they have started purchasing protective kits for them to use.
Executive Director for Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN) George Jobe said it is a worrisome development when the government fails to trace people who have been in contact with those who have tested positive.
Jobe said the government should give out more clarifications regarding the new cases as the situation is “getting out of hand.”
“If the newly confirmed cases could have been linked to the past cases, it could have been a breather for most of us. But if it remains as such [Where cases are not traced] then we are in deep problems as it means there are a lot of people out there who need to be tested and quarantined.
“But if the newly [diagnosed] cases are linked to the past [diagnosed] cases, the issue could just have been tracing those people who came into contact with those who tested positive of the virus,” Jobe said.
But when asked to explain the pace at which the government is taking in the diagnosis of Covid-19 cases, spokesperson in the Ministry Health and Population Joshua Malango said the Ministry is doing all it can in leaving no gaps in the cause.
Malango said so far, they have intensified tracing contacts of persons who have been tested positive to Covid-19.
“We would to assure the country that people should not live in fear. We have our team working around the clock just to make sure we don’t leave any gaps in the fight against the pandemic,” Malango said.
Meanwhile, Lilongwe has recorded six cases and one death. Blantyre has recorded five cases with one death, Chikwawa has recorded one case and Nkhotakota has recorded one case too.
So far over 1. 7 million people have tested positive of Covid-19 worldwide while about 111, 000 have died.
The government has banned market days in rural areas and at the same time restricted religious gatherings to less than 100 people. Sports activities have also been suspended while there is an emphasis on observing social distance of not less than one metre.
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