By Duncan Mlanjira
As South Africa continue to have the African country with most reported cases, its Minister of Health, Dr. Zwelini Mkhize has announced that on Monday, October 19, he and his wife, Dr. May Mkhize have tested positive for COVID-19.
In a government statement, Mkhize said he decided to go for a test on Sunday when he started showing mild symptoms.
“I was feeling abnormally exhausted and as the day progressed, I started losing appetite,” he said in the statement. “My wife had a cough, was dizzy and extremely exhausted.
“Given her symptoms, the doctors advised that she must be admitted for observation and rehydration. Our close contacts in the past week have been a few of our family members and some of my Health Ministry team.
“We have informed them and advised them to immediately isolate in their homes and be tested. I am now in quarantine at home and both my wife and I remain optimistic that we will fully recover from this virus.”
He went on to encourage all South Africans to continue adhering to health protocols and begs not to neglect wearing masks, social distancing and washing/sanitizing hands.
“As country, we’ve made significant strides in our fight against this pandemic. Let us not dare regress. Whatever we do and wherever we go, we have to keep in mind that there remains a risk of a second wave.
“This virus only spreads through movement and contact of people. Therefore we must all play our part. We must protect ourselves and those we love.
“I will use this quarantine period to rest and recharge because our task to improve the health services of our country and the lives our people even post COVID-19 remains of paramount importance.”
As of Monday, October 19, the confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases in South Africa has reached 703,793, with deaths numbering 18,471.
Other most-affected countries include Morocco (173,632), Egypt (105,424) Ethiopia (89,137), Nigeria (61,440) and Algeria (54,402).
Reported cases from 55 African countries have reached 1,646,278, related deaths at 39,747, and recoveries 1,354,446.
The numbers are compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University using statistics from the World Health Organization and other international institutions as well national and regional public health departments.
In the past 24 hours, Malawi has registered three new COVID-19 cases, 15 new recoveries and no new deaths from the 97 tests that were conducted.
Monday update from chairperson of the presidential task force on COVID-19, Dr. John Phuka says the new cases are locally transmitted infections — two from Lilongwe Health District and one is from Blantyre Health District.
Cumulatively, 4,757 cases have now recovered bringing the total number of active cases to 922.
Since April, Malawi now has recorded 5,860 cases including 181 deaths and of these cases, 1,167 are imported infections, 4,693 are locally transmitted and cumulatively, 58,002 tests have been conducted in the country so far.
The Doc. keeps reminding the public against participating in mass gatherings since COVID-19 infection spreads faster in overcrowding places.
“Is is very important to take caution when organizing or when attending mass gatherings as the risk of contracting and spreading the disease is high.
“The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected and spreading further the COVID-19 virus.”
He continues to advise that all COVID-19 prevention and containment measures should be highly considered for all mass gatherings and personal prevention practices (such as handwashing, staying home when sick, maintaining 1 metre of distance, and wearing a mask properly).
He also reminds of environmental prevention practices (such as cleaning and disinfection) are important ways to prevent the virus’s spread.
And for those considering organizing an event the following has to be considered:
– Always consult local health authorities before planning any event;
– Briefing guests about precautions before the event starts;
– During the event, reminding guests of these precautions and ensure they are followed;
– Choosing outdoor venues over indoor spaces — if indoors, ensure the area is well-ventilated;
– Minimising crowding by staggering arrivals and departures, numbering entries, designating seats/places and marking the floor to ensure physical distancing between people of at least one meter,
– Providing all necessary supplies — hand hygiene stations, hand sanitizer or soap and water, tissues, closed-lid bins, distance markers, masks;
– Putting provision for temperature screening as guest are arriving.