By Duncan Mlanjira
In Monday’s situation report co-chairperson of the presidential taskforce on COVID-19, Dr John Phuka as the schools have reopened there is need to strengthen the preventive measures in the community and the school settings by enhancing use of face mask.
“The use of face mask is part of a comprehensive package of the prevention and control measures that can limit the spread of COVID-19,” the Doc said.
“Face masks can be used either for protection of healthy persons from contracting the disease or for source control to limit spreading the disease to others.”
In his report, Dr. Phuka the past 24 hours there was one new COVID-19 related death that occurred in Blantyre.
Seven new cases were registered bringing the cumulative total of cases at 5,621 since the first case in April and there were 39 new recoveries giving the total at 3,590 cases, bringing the total number of active cases to 1,855.
Of these cases, 1,133 are imported infections and 4,488 are locally transmitted. So far 46,750 tests have been conducted in 45 COVID-19 testing sites of which 114 tests have been done in the past 24 hours.
Data so far indicates that the downward trend in the numbers new COVID-19 cases and its related deaths continue to decline 7 days into the month of September.
Dr. Phuka asks parents and teachers to ensure that learners use face mask appropriately.
• Cleaning hands before putting on the mask.
• Inspect the mask for tears or holes, not to use a mask that is damaged.
• Adjusting the mask to cover mouth, nose, and chin, leaving no gaps on the sides.
• Avoiding touching the mask while wearing it.
• Changing mask if it gets dirty or wet.
• Cleaning hands before taking off the mask.
• Taking off the mask by removing it from the ear loops, without touching the front of the mask.
• Medical masks are for single use only; discard the mask immediately, preferably into a closed bin. Do not liter
• Washing hands with soap after removing the mask.
• If using a cloth mask, to wash it in hot water using soap at least once a day.
• Not share used masks.
“Remember, a mask alone cannot protect you from COVID-19. It must be combined with other measures, including watching your distance, washing your hands.”