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Covid exposes gaps in health sector— Minister

KANDODO CHIPONDA (right)—It is almost similar to other vaccines

Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has conceded that coronavirus has exposed gaps that have been in the country’s health sector including the shortage of healthcare workers.

The minister said this Monday at the daily Covid briefing in Lilongwe, where she said the government was working towards upgrading health facilities so that even top government officials, including the Head of State, can be accessing medical services within the country.

She, then, defended the government’s plans to install gas plants in Mzuzu City and Karonga District.

The minister also justified the government’s choice of coronavirus vaccine which the government intends to administer starting next month, saying the type that government has opted for was conducive for the Malawi environment.

“The reason we chose AstraZaneca is because we looked at its efficacy, we also looked at the storage facilities and indeed our capability as a country. In terms of storage, it is almost similar to other vaccines which we use on our children. That is why we have settled for that one. But, more specifically, it is safe for Malawians to use,” she said.

She said healthcare workers and social workers, including minibus drivers, teachers and prison warders, would be among the first people to be considered in the vaccination exercise.

On the day, she indicated that 330 had recovered from Covid, 402 new cases had been recorded and 23 people had been discharged from treatment centres, with 29 people being admitted to hospital and 10 dying.

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