Driver badly assaulted for bringing COVID-19 related dead body in Kasungu

The assaulted healthcare worker

 * This is very sad – human beings have become more evil

* Ignorance at it’s best, very bad

* We might not be doing enough on the civic education side on COVID-19 deaths

* We have a full ministry of civic education which is failing to civic educate the citizenry

By Duncan Mlanjira

Despite public calls to respect healthcare workers in discharging their duties, driver for Kasungu District Hospital, Mr. Cheyo, has been badly assaulted in Liwonde as he delivered the dead body of Bishop Koloko of Living Waters Church.

Damaged vehicle

The man of God died in Kasungu of related COVID-19 complications but his kinsfolk in Liwonde did not believe it, saying their relation didn’t die of the disease and assaulted the innocent healthcare workers who brought the remains for burial.

The people are alleged to have demanded that the healthcare workers should not carry out the burial as according to COVID-19 protocols.

The development was posted on social media and was received with deep regret with Ulemu Komani Phiri suggesting that maybe the best way to avoid this misconceptions is for the health authorities to just disinfect the dead body and let the people bury it themselves.

He was replying to Brighton Malasa comment, who said this continuing trend of harassing innocent healthcare workers is not right.


Malasa said: “Our people, please let us respect the health personnel serving us including adhering to their instructions. We are in tough times of our days, yes but beating health personnel cannot be condoned.”

Suzgo Sam Banda’s comment was: “This is very sad. Human beings have become more evil.”

Another commentator Muyanga Soko said ignorance is at its best and as things are getting this nasty, “it’s possible we might not be doing enough on the civic education side on COVID-19 deaths. We are putting in danger the lives of the healthcare workers”.

Coronavirus alert: Respect to health workers

Others said the country has a fully fledged Ministry of Civic Education but it is failing to civic educate the citizenry and that this new development comes just some hours after the Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako had commended that people have stopped assaulting and stigmatizing healthcare workers.

On just disinfecting the dead body and letting the deceased’s kinsfolk bury it themselves, Augustine Harawa said the danger is to the attendees.

Coronavirus alert

“Funerals are one of the hotspots where COVID-19 is easily spread because many don’t observe the preventive measures. Restrictions in gatherings comes in because of the said.

“However, it is very sad that cultural practices overpower the regulations. Many church leaders have died [possibly having contracted the virus through church work].”

He added that it’s very unfortunate that people are still ignorant like this up to attacking healthcare worker.

Coronavirus alert

“Shame to us all. Sorry to all medical practitioners and your supporting staff members,” he said, while Noel Chikhozo added: “Civilization has not reached Malawi up to now. We are still living with the backward mindset — what a shame!”

Meanwhile, in the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered 242 new COVID-19 cases, 608 new recoveries, 10 new related deaths.

Of the new deaths, one each was from Blantyre, Lilongwe, Zomba, Mzimba South, Dowa, Chitipa, Ntcheu, Kasungu, Mulanje, and Chiradzulu Districts.

Coronavirus alert: Private citizen response

Of the new cases 241 are locally transmitted with Lilongwe as the highest at 80 followed by 60 from Blantyre, 18 from Mzimba North and 11 from Mchinji.

There were 18 cases that were hospitalised in the past 24 hours, while 12 were discharged. Currently, a total of 146 active cases are hospitalised with Blantyre at 36 followed by 35 in Lilongwe and 20 in Mzimba North.

Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 29,421 cases including 968 deaths (case fatality rate is at 3.3%) and 14,803 cases have now recovered, 134 were lost to follow-up, and 76 are still being investigated to ascertain their outcome — bringing the total number of active cases to 13,440.

Coronavirus alert

There were 1,364 COVID-19 tests that were done in the past 24 hours, and of these, 546 tests were through SARS-COV-2 Antigen Rapid Diagnostic test while the rest were through RT-PCR.

The positive cases out of the total translates to a positivity rate of 17.7%.