By Duncan Mlanjira
In his Wednesday’s situation report, co-chairperson of the presidential taskforce on COVID-19, Dr John Phuka is asking that as the world is opening various economic activities including international travel, there is need to travel only when it is essential.
Dr. Phuka cautions the public that COVID-19 is still spreading across the globe and in the case that the members of the public are to travel they should take keen interest to check the COVID-19 requirements for their destination country.
“Most countries require a negative COVID-19 test certificate valid obtained within 5-14 days prior to arrival in the destination country.
“Please contact your nearest District Health Office for COVID-19 testing prior to departure and you will be required to produce necessary travel documentation as a requirement.
“Other countries also require the traveler to be under mandatory institutional/home quarantine for 14 days, mandatory wearing of face mask and other various screening processes.
“Understand these requirements in advance and prepare appropriately,” Dr. Phuka said.
His report says in the past 24 hours of Wednesday, Malawi has registered three new COVID-19 cases, 80 new recoveries, and no new deaths.
Two of the new cases (one each from Blantyre and Nsanje) are locally transmitted infections and one new case from Neno was identified at the Mwanza border during routine screening of people entering the country.
Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 5,579 cases including 175 deaths and of these cases, 1,127 are imported infections and 4,452 are locally transmitted.
Cumulatively, 3,500 cases have now recovered bringing the total number of active cases to 1,904 from the 45,789 tests so far conducted in 45 COVID-19 testing sites of which 167 tests have been done in the past 24 hours.
Dr. Phuka reiterates on steps to protect people from COVID-19 during travel that includes:
• Wearing a mask to keep the nose and mouth covered when in public settings.
• Avoiding close contact by staying at least 1 meter anyone who is not from their household.
• Washing hands often with soap or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• Avoiding contact with anyone who is sick
• Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid touching various surfaces such as handrails, desks, chairs etc.