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Local Covid-19 transmissions surpass imported cases

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The presidential Task Force on Covid-19 says for the first time, the number of locally transmitted cases has surpassed imported cases.

Co-Chairperson of the Covid-19 taskforce, Dr. John Phuka, has since expressed fear over the development, advising the public to exercise caution.

As of July 2, the number of local cases was at 696, against 640 imported cases.

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He said for the two week period from June 18 to July 2, the number of new cases reached 802, which is more than the total number of cases that occurred in the first 77 days (from 2 April to 18 June) when 600 cases were recorded.

The taskforce co-chairperson further said there has been an increase of clusters of Covid-19 identified by contact tracing within workplaces.

This, Phuka added, shows that there is high local transmission within such institutions.

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He has therefore urged employers and employees to strictly observe all preventive measures including frequent hand-washing with soap and observing a physical distancing of at least one metre.

Health Rights activist, Maziko Matemba, said Malawi has reached such a stage because, among other reasons, politicians failed to lead their followers in adhering to prevention measures.

He has hailed the government for the increased number of testing centres in the country, but has called for more tests, adding that authorities should also focus on community health.

“We have no choice, it will be more expensive now to contain Covid-19 because we need to buy more test kits, we need to change the protocol and have mass testing, we need to test everyone because now everyone is a suspect,” said Matemba.

On Wednesday and Thursday this week, a total of 137 new cases were registered, bringing the total number of cases to 1402, out of which 67 percent are male.

The youngest case is a one month baby and so far, 16 people in Malawi have died of the pandemic.

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