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Everyone is a Covid-19 suspect—government

URGED CAUTION—Mhango (centre) flanked by Information Minister, Mark Botomani (right) and Director of Health Services, Charles Mwansambo

CHILIMA—Malawi needs
strategic leadership

Chairperson of the Special Cabinet Committee on Covid-19, Jappie Mhango, has said Malawians need to be extra careful in the advent of the pandemic by maintaining social distance and frequently washing hands, saying the disease does not discriminate and that everyone is a Covid-19 suspect.

Mhango told reporters in Lilongwe yesterday that the disease continues to spread in the country and that two more cases had been confirmed positive in Blantyre and Lilongwe.

The development has brought the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country to 36.

“One of the cases is a 47-year-old man from Chileka, Blantyre who arrived in Malawi from Tanzania on April 18 and was on self-quarantine. The other is a 45-year-old man from Area 2, Livimbo in Lilongwe. He has no history of travel. He developed flu-like symptoms and a family member called our rapid response team for tests and the results came out positive.

“Our team is today going to take samples from other family members. We will do contact tracing to all workers at his business premises and other close contacts,” Mhango said.

Since the disease was confirmed in Malawi early this month, a total of three people have died while four have recovered.

So far, Lilongwe leads in the number of confirmed cases at 23 and two deaths, followed by Blantyre at nine and one death. Chikwawa, Nkhotakota, Karonga and Zomba have recorded a case each.

On Monday, Vice- President Saulos Chilima charged 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.

“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 buy-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,” Chilima said.

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