By Duncan Mlanjira
Among the reported COVID-19 cases still classified as active, there might be more who might have recovered but are unable to be traced.
It is in that vein that co-chairperson of the presidential task force on COVID-19, Dr. John Phuka says they have not been in touch with such people for discharge because they are failing to reach them through contacts that they gave.
“I would like to call upon those that we did not officially discharge to reach to us for this very important formal discharge,” says Dr. Phuka in his daily updates on the pandemic.
“To discharge you, we do not do a second test. Discharge is based on clinical status,” he said as an encouragement.
He said from recent updates, the number of active cases is likely lower as from 294 COVID-19 tests that were conducted on Sunday, only one new case was registered and there were no new recoveries and no new related deaths.
That brings the cumulative number of recovered cases to 5,399 cases, bringing the total number of active cases to 381.
Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 5,965 cases including 185 deaths and of these, 1,171 are imported infections and 4,794 are locally transmitted.
Dr. Phuka warns that even with that low expectation, the virus is still spreading and as community transmission of infection is still being experienced.
“Let us still regard everyone you meet as a potential carrier of the disease. In order to further supress the COVID-19 infections in our country, everyone need to avoid the following three Cs settings:
– Crowded places with many people nearby;
– Close-contact settings, especially where people have close-range conversations;
– Confined and enclosed spaces with poor ventilation. It is important to increase access to outdoor air through natural ventilation,” Dr. Phuka said.
Meanwhile, in his speech during the 39th celebration of Kamuzu Academy Founder’s Day, Headmaster Andrew Wild spoke of COVID-19, saying “‘lucky’ and “fortunate” are not good words to use about this dreadful pandemic, but we can, I think, thank the Good Lord that Malawi’s brush with it has, so far, not been amongst the worst, even in southern Africa”.
“It has been serious enough to keep us humble, and our hearts go out to the families of the 185 Malawians who have passed away because of it, but throughout it all we have been able, in Winston Churchill’s words, to “keep plodding on” — first through distance learning — an experience from which we all learnt an enormous amount — but more recently with our pupils back here, face to face.
“We thank the Honourable Minister for Health and the COVID-19 task force for everything they did to limit the impact of the pandemic.”
“And in this context, a special plea to the parents. We have, as you know, taken a number of measures to keep pupils and guests separate on this occasion.
“Please do not yield to the temptation to try to make closer contact than that with your children. A late outbreak of COVID-19 cases handed on by loving parents to beloved children would not be a good way to end our Christmas term,” he said.
And this is what Dr. Phuka is advancing that everyone should still be regarded as a potential carrier of the disease and in order to further supress the COVID-19 infections to continue observing the preventive measures, and in Wild’s case was to keep distance.