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Covid-19 infections and deaths on downward spiral

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Titus Divala

Malawi has sustained a downward trend in new Covid-19 infections and deaths, Dr Titus Divala Medical Doctor and Epidemiologist has observed.

While there are no proven theories on what could be probable reasons to the down ward trend, Dr Divala said once a disease reaches its peak, it eventually goes down.

Cases were at peak in July where on average, at least 21 out 100 people were testing positive for Covid-19 and now stands at seven percent.

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“There was a time when we started receiving high profile cases and also the number of deaths was also rising. And then we started seeing the high profile people who had tested positive coming forward advising people to take care. I think that was the time as a country we started focusing more on the disease. That could have an impact to the current trend,” he said.

However, the epidemiologist said the only remaining concern is to put more effort in rural areas where reporting is low.

“The entire curve is being driven by Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu and it may well be that this curve only stands for the urban epidemic and a rural one is yet to come. I hope that’s not the case, and that all this is just underreporting due to under testing in the rural districts. Rural districts are critical because that is where most of our old people live,” he said.

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Testing has recently been scaled down, which to Dr Divala, is another concern, but he emphasised the status remains encouraging.

As of August 31 2020 Malawi had conducted 45,505 Covid-19 tests in 45 testing sites.

Weighing in, Society of Medical Doctors president, Dr Victor Mithi, said it is too early to relax as this could be short lived.

“There are a number of theories but we are not sure which is which. But on the other hand we need not relax because we are not sure what the disease will bring us this month. We need to do more in the rural areas because some days ago I had an opportunity to go in some rural areas where people are not observing the social distance among other measures,” he said.

In a statement released on Monday, Co-chairperson of the Presidential Task force on Covid-19, Dr John Phuka, said while the number of Covid-19 new infections and deaths in the country have relatively gone down, there is need to stop the spread of the disease as it may still have devastating effects to people at risk of severe disease.

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) said the Covid-19 outbreak in Africa may have passed its peak, but warned governments not to be complacent as countries relax their restrictions.

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