Some of COVID-19 preventive measures have multiple benefits

Helping to reduce spread of other communicable diseases

By Duncan Mlanjira

There is a huge light at the end of the tunnel if the public can continue practising the COVID-19 preventive measures as some of them have multiple benefits.

In his Wednesday situation report, co-chairperson the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr. John Phuka said apart from preventive the spread of the pandemic, they are also helping to reduce the spread of other diseases.

Dr. Phuka

“Handwashing with soap is also helping to prevent other diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery and cholera,” he said. “We should make frequent hand washing with soap as our daily habit.

“This is particularly important this time around when as a nation we usually observe an increase in diarrhoeal diseases.”

He said the task force had asked from the health authorities to provide overall diarrhoea and respiratory tract infections data and the graphs were showing lower occurrences than last year.

“While on the other hand, the use of facemask, apart from reducing the spread of COVID-19, play an important role in the prevention and control of spread of other infectious respiratory disease such as influenza.

“To ensure that the risk of COVID19 transmission is minimized during this festive month, I would like to request every one of us to include COVID-19 preventive measures as we plan our cerebrations of the season.

“The most important preventive measures we should implement are observing physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette including wearing facemask and ensuring adequate ventilation when having activities indoor.

“These measures are essential for reducing the spread of COVID-19.”

He added that the low of numbers of confirmed cases being reported on daily basis has not come by chance but by the combined efforts of the public, health workers and other frontline staff and partners in adhering to the preventive and containment measures.

As of Wednesday, Malawi registered no new COVID-19 cases, five new recoveries, and no new deaths from the 564 tests that were conducted.

Coronavirues alert: Respect to health workers

Dr. Phuka reported that cumulatively, 5,487 cases have now recovered bringing the total number of active cases to 30.

However, 106 cases were lost to follow-up and 242 are still being investigated to ascertain their outcome.

Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 6,051 cases including 186 deaths and of these cases, 1,183 are imported infections and 4,868 are locally transmitted.

Appeal from Speaker of Parliament Catherine
Gotani Hara