By Duncan Mlanjira
Malawi’s northern neighboring country, Tanzania has announced the first coronavirus case.
Tanzania’s online publication, The Citizen reports that the patient is a 46-year-old female, who arrived in Tanzania on Sunday, March 15 from Belgium aboard RwandAir plane and landed at Kilimanjaro International Airport.
The report says she left the country on March 3, while in Belgium she visited Sweden and Germany before she went back to Belgium and returned to Tanzania on March 15.
The patient, according to the report, went into self-isolation but samples tested positive of the coronavirus, she is now at Mount Meru Hospital and that her situation has been contained.
Just like for South Africa, most Malawians cross border traders travel to Dar es Salaam to do various forms of business and this puts the country at risk since the authorities have not put in place drastic measures such as imposing extensive travel bans, banning gatherings and closing of schools — as other countries have done to curb the spread of the global epidemic.
However, President John Magufuli on Monday, March 16, suspended Uhuru torch race for 2020 as part of efforts to avoid coronavirus which is spreading fast in many African countries.
According to The Citizen, Magufuli is quoted as saying the money which was set for the race should now be directed to preparedness of the facilities for addressing possible coronavirus cases.
In Kenya, a passenger has been reported dead on a Nairobi flight from Doha.
Kenya Airports Authority Police Commandant Titus Karuri told the Daily Nation that the passenger, Samuel Gachohi, 37, was flying on a Qatar Airways flight when he fell short of breath, started gasping for air and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport last Thursday morning.
The paper said Kenyan police have opened investigation into the cause of the passenger’s death.
Meanwhile, Malawi has still not registered any COVID-19 and as of Monday, the hospitals have put measures to restrict patient visits in order to curb infections.