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Covid-19 cases up to 39

UPDATED THE NATION ON COVID-19—Mhango

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases has risen to 39 following the confirmation of another case in Mzuzu, Health Minister Jappie Mhango has said.

The development brings the number of Covid-19 cases in Mzuzu to three.

Mhango told reporters that the new case is a 20-year-old lady who has no travel history but is a contact of the first case recorded in the city.

According to Mhango, the new case is asymptomatic and has since been put on self-quarantine.

“Health workers are tracing all contacts of this person so that they can also be isolated, followed up and tested for the virus. This means that the country now has registered a total of 39 confirmed Covid 19 cases since the first case was reported. Of these cases, nine have successfully recovered and are well, three lost their lives and 27 are still under management by the health system,” Mhango said.

He added that all the 27 cases who are still positive are clinically stable.

Early last month, Mhango said the current modelling on the potential impact of the coronavirus shows that Malawi can be hit hard by the virus and the mortality can be up to 50,000 deaths without necessary interventions.

Vice-President Saulos Chilima last week admitted that government is facing a serious deficit of public trust in the way it is handling Covid-19.

Chilima said the public reaction to messages from government on the pandemic proves that the public does not recognise the current leadership as a credible source of information.

He said every statement from government about Covid-19 is received with serious doubt and suspicion.

“This is sad and regrettable at so many levels. Firstly, it hampers the government’s efforts in effectively managing the crisis. Any credible public health response requires by-in from the very people that it is meant to serve. If people do not have trust in the government, they will not cooperate in interventions that are meant to save their own lives.

“Secondly, lack of trust in the government messaging on the coronavirus will lead people to lower their guard and ignore basic instructions for preventing the contraction of the virus. They will ignore instructions of health personnel on hygiene and social distancing. The result is that they will put themselves, their loved ones and their communities in great danger,” Chilima said.

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