By Duncan Mlanjira
The Rotary Club of Blantyre recently inducted its new resident, Augustine Banda, who is Multichoice Malawi’s managing director and also swore in a new Board which has identified the COVID-19 pandemic as its main area of focus in the year 2020/2021.
The first assignment is to procure over 1,000 face masks to be given to Blantyre Market vendors to protect themselves as well as the multitude of customers that patronise this popular market.
The fundraising drive — MaskOn Take Away Meals — done in conjunction with Blues Bar & Restaurant and Mizu, is engaging customers that from every specialty take away meal they buy at K4,000 each pack, K1,000 goes towards the procurement of the face masks.
The take away meals on offer are Blues’ specialty — Blue Elly Burger, Blues Platter, Braai Pack and a Stew for two (goat or chicken curry) — each at K4,000.
Orders can be placed through mobile phone numbers, 0999 386 122 and 0881 245 047 and the Club targets to raise the funds for the 1,000 face masks in 30 days.
A few days ago, the initiative received K50,000 from a donor who chose to remain anonymous.
“Let’s flatten the COVID-19 curve,” says the advertisement flier that has been prepared.
The new president said the surge in the number of new COVID-19 infections and deaths has prompted the Rotary Club of Blantyre to commit its members to a monthly drive of educating, equipping and preventing the pandemic.
“In the coming months, the Club will be approaching organizations and individuals identified as Friends of the Rotary Club of Blantyre to partner in the fight to save lives,” he said.
The new Board has Banda as president, lawyer Modecai Msisha as immediate past president; Chifwayi Chirambo as president-elect & Club administrator while NICO Holdings Managing Director Vizenge Kumwenda is the treasurer
Club executive secretary is Chris Chirwa; secretary is Annie Magola; Rotary Foundation chairperson is Doreen Chanje; membership chairperson is Mzondi Chirambo; fundraising chairperson is Allan Nasoro while Dango Mkandawire is community service & projects chairperson.
Meanwhile, a situation report presented on Wednesday evening from co-chairperson of Presidential Taskforce Force on COVID-19, Dr. John Phuka says Malawi registered 38 new COVID-19 cases, 52 new recoveries and no new deaths.
Of the new cases, 27 are locally transmitted and 11 are imported infections and of the locally transmitted infections, nine are from Lilongwe, seven from Blantyre, two each from Dowa, Mchinji, Mulanje, Mzimba North, and Zomba.
Nine of the imported cases were identified through routine screening at Mwanza border. The other two imported cases are Tanzanian truck drivers and have returned to Tanzania.
Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 4,752 cases including 152 death and of these cases, 1,047 are imported infections and 3,705 are locally transmitted.
Cumulatively, 2,529 cases have now recovered bringing the total number of active cases to 2,071.
Dr. Phuka reiterates that at the rate COVID-19 is spreading the public should treat everyone they meet as a potential carrier of the virus and there is need to strictly follow all the preventive measures wholesomely.
“The fight of COVID-19 requires that everyone has to be involved. Let me also remind the public that COVID-19 is often more severe
in older people and/or those that have health conditions like lung or heart disease, diabetes (sugar disease), hypertension (high BP), TB and HIV, asthma or conditions that affect their immune system.
“It is important ensure that the chronic condition you live with is under control; this means ensuring you are regularly taking medication for diabetes (sugar disease), hypertension (high BP), HIV, TB and asthma.
“If you are at high risk stay at home, practice preventive measures to minimize your risk of infection and if you are not at high risk, do your part to prevent the spread of coronavirus to those who are.
“Let us protect the vulnerable populations,” reiterates Dr. Phuka.