By Madalitso Musa & Taonga Sabola:
The government has come out in the open to confirm that there have been three cases of Covid-19 registered in the country so far.
President Peter Mutharika made the announcement Thursday when he addressed the nation.
According to Mutharika, the three are a 61-year-old woman who had travelled to India were she got the virus. The other are her relative and a domestic worker for the woman.
However, Mutharika said the three had been quarantined for the mandatory minimum of 14 days.
The President then assured Malawians that the government is putting in place stringent measures to avoid further spread of the virus.
“In view of the confirmed coronavirus cases, I will be addressing the nation again to announce more measures so stop the spread of the virus. Let us not panic but let us be careful. Together we can win this fight
“As we take every precaution, we must maintain our hope because according to health experts, 97 percent of patients infected by the Coronavirus get well after medical intervention. In the absence of the vaccine and off the counter treatment, raising awareness of the risk factors for the coronavirus infection and protective measures individuals can take is the only way to reduce human infection and death,” he said.
Mutharika also urged politicians to unite in the fight against the pandemic other than politicising it.
Minister of Health Jappie Mhango said the government is tracing all people who had been in contact with the affected people and preventive measures will be taken.
Meanwhile, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) on Thursday resolved to reduce Liquidity Reserve Ratio and Lombard Rate in view of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic but has maintained the Policy Rate at 13.5 percent .
The development is expected to release primary liquidity of about K12 billion uniformly across the banking system in proportion to liabilities of the banks.
RBM Governor, Dalitso Kabambe, said in a statement the move will reduce the cost of accessing funds from the central bank and therefore will enable commercial banks to pass on the benefits to borrowers.
Kabambe said the decisions were deemed necessary to ease banking system liquidity constraints and incentivise commercial banks to adequately support the sectors that are hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kabambe said the decision to maintain the Policy Rate was arrived at to mitigate against potential upward risks from the pandemic while monitoring developments as they evolve and act as and when necessary.
So far, over 986,000 cases have been registered worldwide, with over 50,000 fatalities also registered. About 210,000 people have recovered.
According to World Health Organisation, most people infected with Covid-19 will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment.
Older people and those with underlying medical problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.
Some ways of preventing and slowing down the transmission is by washing hands or using an alcohol based rub frequently and not touching the face.
Covid-19 is spread through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
People are therefore encouraged to observe hygienic practices such as regularly washing hands with soap and live in clean environments. Social distance has also been encouraged to reduce the spread of the disease.
Covid-19 is caused by Coronavirus. The virus originated from Wuhan in China.