* Work starts to procure drier and washing machine; oxygen flow meters: humidifier bottles; suction machines;
* As well drug trolleys; cellular blankets; patient trolleys; surgical masks and sanitizers
* In the first phase in January, MYU raised K8 million to procure two patient monitors; 800 heparin vials (medications)
* As well 25 rain coats; 25,000 face masks and 21 pulse meters
By Duncan Mlanjira
In under 48 hours since rolling out the second phase of fundraising to procure essential medical equipment for Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital’s COVID-19 treatment units, Muslim Youth United (MYU) exceeded their target of K20 million.
They are now in the process to secure the equipment that include drier and washing machine; oxygen flow meters: humidifier bottles; suction machines; drug trolleys; cellular blankets; patient trolleys; surgical masks and sanitizers.
The items have been identified as needful in consultation with the relevant authorities at Queens Hospital.
In the first phase in January, MYU raised K8 million, which exceeded the targeted K5 million which was used to procure two patient monitors; 800 heparin vials (medications); 25 rain coats; 25,000 face masks and 21 pulse meters.
At the presentation of first phase of the items, Queens Hospital’s Deputy Director responsible for clinical services, Kelvin Mponda told the grouping that they had erected more tents as treatment units to be able to accommodate extra intake of 150 to the current 120 patients it could hold.
Thus they needed more support in terms of medical equipment and supplies which MYU, the philanthropic arm of Malawi Muslims, is aiming at achieving.
Mponda had indicated that during the first wave of the pandemic, they were using over 25,000 face masks in a month but now they are at over 100,000 a month.
MYU’s partnership with Queens Hospital goes a long way as adopted two pediatric wards at Queens, named ‘We Care’ wards and has also previously assisted Queens in the fight against COVID-19.
During the first outbreak of the pandemic in March last year, MYU supplied PPEs for the We Care wards that included 1,000 face masks, 50 washing stations, liquid dispensers and disinfectant fluids. In December last year, they donated 300 face shields to healthcare workers.
MYU also manages a feeding programme at Queens every Wednesday since two years ago in which they supply food items for the kitchen.
As of Thursday evening, there were 203 new COVID-19 cases, 337 new recoveries and eight new deaths — with Blantyre registering the highest at five and one each from Dowa, Chitipa and Rumphi District.
Of the new cases, 48 were from Blantyre while Lilongwe had the highest at 76 with 24 from Salima and 11 from Mzimba North.
Currently, a total of 131 active cases are hospitalised with Lilongwe having the highest at 37 followed by 26 in Blantyre and 20 in Mzimba North. There were 10 new cases that were hospitalised while 11 were discharged.
Cumulatively, 15,568 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 12,985.
Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 29,837 cases including 984 deaths (case fatality rate at 3.3%).
There were 1,361 COVID-19 tests that were conducted on Thursday, of which 369 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 14.9%.
In his national address last week on the COVID-19 situation, President Lazarus Chakwera said urged Malawians to continue complying with the preventive measures so that the positivity rate continues to drop
until it is below 5% — which is when he can safely open up the economy again.
As of the day of his address, the positivity rate rate was at 16.9%, which was 6% lower than it was the week before — and over half of what it was at the start of the year.
Cumulatively, 176,148 tests have been conducted in the country so far and of the cumulative cases, 2,022 are imported infections and 27,815 being local.