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Prevention key in Covid-19 war—WHO

DLAMINI—It’s not
just any mask

World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Malawi, Nonhlanhla Rosemary Dlamini, has emphasised the need to intensify preventive measures of coronavirus and contain it in the country.

Dlamini Tuesday said while the country has no record of the disease, prevention is important.

“ It is incumbent that we prevent as much as possible not to let the case into Malawi. The strategy that we advise is to do prevention and contain it which include hand-washing for at least 20 seconds, hand sanitisers and social distance,” she said in Lilongwe.

She also said face masks being used as a preventive measure should be used if one is ill, sneezing or coughing to avoid spreading the virus.

“It’s not just any mask, this is called N95, specially made to not spread even that tiny particle of the virus. So, it is not just any piece of cloth or tissue that you can use. The other population that uses masks is the health workers because they will be caring for people who might be infected with the virus,” Dlamini said.

WHO said Malawi is now among the countries with the capacity to test the virus and 1,000 testing kits arrived on Monday.

“They [kit] came into Malawi yesterday [Monday]. We will be distributing them between Lilongwe and Blantyre. We believe it is going to boost our testing capacity,” Dlamini said.

According to Public Health Institute of Malawi (PHIM), one suspect has been investigated as a contact to a case that was confirmed in Austria a few days after leaving Malawi.

PHIM also said the Public Health Reference Laboratory tested six samples and all tested negative for the virus.

Minister of Health and Population, Jappie Mhango, on Monday said the country will have all necessary equipment to fight the virus.

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