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Family feels abandoned

Jappie Mhango

By Audrey Kapalamula and Rebecca Chimjeka

As Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the country, an affected family in Lilongwe feels abandoned by the government.

Minister of Health Jappie Mhango Thursday announced ten new cases bringing the total number of cases to 33.

Mhango announced that all the ten new cases were from Kaliyeka in Lilongwe where four cases were also confirmed on Wednesday with one death.

He said the cases from Kaliyeka were from primary contacts of the four.

“We had followed contacts and collected 24 samples and out of these, 10 were confirmed to be positive,” Mhango said.

He also disclosed that all the 27 active cases are in mild conditions and that health personnel were on the ground to ensure that all contacts are followed up and managed.

Meanwhile, the family has expressed anger over how the government managed the results of the test of family members following the death of their relative which they claim to have heard about from government’s public announcement.

A brother to the deceased said the family was worried about the safety of seven other members who have not contracted the disease but do not have adequate protective equipment.

“We live in a compound where some members have tested positive but the government has not provided those who tested negative with protective gear,” he said.

He added that the family is also facing starvation as they are quarantined.

“We don’t know where our next meal will come from because even if we have money, no one is interested to sell us food. I wish we had more information about what happens when a family is in this situation,” he said.

He added that his brother who reportedly succumbed to Covid-19 had respiratory problems since 2018.

“My brother has been travelling to Tanzania since February this year but he was not feeling well. Last week he went again to pick his four vehicles together with three other people who helped with driving the vehicles.

“He arrived at the border on April 9 and after they finished processing vehicle papers they got home. It was when his health had deteriorated that we went to hospital where it was discovered that he had Covid-19,” he said.

Ministry of Health spokesperson Joshua Malango said he wanted to consult before commenting on the allegations against the government.

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