Ulaya (left) presents the donation
* Amidst fears of possible second wave COVID-19 pandemic
* Consistence in the past few days point more towards an increasing burden of the cases
* Total number of active cases seem to steadily rise to a nearly 75% increase
By Duncan Mlanjira
Muslim Youth United (MYU), the philanthropic arm of Muslims in Malawi, on Wednesday donated 300 face shields to Queen Elizabeth Centre Hospital’s COVID-19 health care workers in recognition of the noble work they are involved in the fight against the spread of the pandemic.
This comes after concerns from the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 that the number of active cases is rising exponentially and has the potential of the country having a second wave of the pandemic.
In his situation report, co-chairperson of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. John Phuka said from Tuesday’s results in which there were 10 new cases and the consistence in the past few days point more towards an increasing burden of the cases.
“The total number of active cases seem to steadily rise from the lowest we had of 30 now to 52 – a nearly 75% increase,” says the report.
“This is a clear warning that the number of active cases may soon be rising exponentially.”
As of Wednesday, Malawi has registered 10 new COVID-19 cases, 168 new recoveries, and no new deaths from 409 tests that were done.
The situation report says from nine of the new cases are locally transmitted infections — four from Blantyre and three from Lilongwe.
Four of the new cases are imported infections — identified at Mwanza border and a new arrival at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in and one is a resident of Nkhata Bay who recently arrived in the country from South Africa.
Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 6,080 cases including 187 deaths and of these cases, 1,188 are imported infections and 4,892 are locally transmitted.
Cumulatively, 5,659 cases have now recovered; 106 were lost to follow-up and 76 are still being investigated to ascertain their outcome.
There were two new recoveries in the past 24hrs of Wednesday and that the additional 166 recoveries are those that were classified as under investigation.
This brings the total number of active cases to 52 with one is admitted at Zomba Central Hospital.
During the presentation ceremony at Queens Hospital that included 5 cases of Vital bottled water, MYU volunteer, Firdaus Ulaya said they decided to assist in cognizance that health workers on the frontline fight against the pandemic need to be protected.
He said there is a laxity in the observance of the preventive measures and thus the frontline COVID-19 health workers need extra protection to mitigate further infections.
“We have a strong partnership with Queens as we adopted its neurosurgical and orthopaedic wards under the name ‘We Care’ and we also have a regular feeding programme in which they supply food items for the hospital’s kitchen.
“This donation is a recognition of the role that the frontline COVID-19 health workers are playing in the fight against the pandemic.
“The fight against COVID-19 is not over and this is also one way to ask the public to remain vigilant by observing the preventive measures we have been asked to do,” Ulaya said.
Dr. Phuka reiterates that the virus is still spreading as evidenced by the new confirmed cases being reported on daily basis (Tuesday was 10 and Wednesday at 11).
“This means we are still experiencing community transmission of infection in our country,” he said.
“In this state, it is important to regard everyone you meet as a potential carrier of the disease as out of 10 people infected with Coronavirus, nine will not feel sick at all.
“We have also observed that some new cases are detected when they get tested for travel, without any symptoms or being a contact of a known case.
“This confirms that there are indeed asymptomatic cases in our community hence the need to comprehensively practice the preventive measures.
“It is therefore important that all people who are infected are identified by testing, be isolated and depending on the severity of their disease, receive the appropriate medical care.”
Dr. Phuka insists the even people confirmed to have COVID-19 but who do not have symptoms should be isolated to limit their contact with others.
“To ensure that the risk of transmission is reduced and proper care is given if positive, we have resumed testing of contacts to all confirmed cases.
“For those people who have been in contact with COVID-19 cases are required to get tested and be on quarantine for 14 days.
“It is not time to lower guard in the COVID-19 fight as the disease is still here and this calls for enhanced preventive and containment measures.
1. promote social/physical distancing to keep ourselves and others safe,
2. promote frequent hand washing with soap to keep our hands clean all the time,
3. reduce spreading of the virus by wearing face masks properly and coughing appropriately.