By Duncan Mlanjira
The calls by the co-chairperson of the presidential task force on COVID-19, Dr. John Phuka that there is a general relaxation of preventive measures by the public due to low numbers of confirmed cases being reported on daily basis, should be taken serious because number of new cases keeps registering against few recoveries.
In the past 24 hours of Wednesday evening Malawi has registered one new COVID-19 related death, seven new cases against one new recovery from the 294 tests that were conducted.
And most of the new cases being recorded are locally transmitted and Wednesday’s are three from Nkhotakota, three from Mzimba North and one from Zomba.
The new death occurred on 24 October 2020 in Zomba Health District where he was managed and buried as a COVID-19 suspected case and has recently been confirmed positive.
Phuka is not tired in reiterating that there is a general relaxation by the public in practicing the COVID-19 preventive and containment measures and this is risky at this point as this can contribute to the rapid transmission of the virus in the community.
He observes that people have stopped wearing masks especially in some gatherings like weddings and churches as well as in public places such as shops and markets.
“We need to reduce further the new infections in our community and this can only be achieved if all of us strictly adhere to the preventive measures,” he said.
“As we still have community transmission of the disease in our midst, to reduce the new infections there is need to identify and isolate those that have the disease, bring them to care.
“The primary contacts of the confirmed cases should contact the health authorities for further assessment and advise.
“In order to prevent contracting the disease there is need for continued practicing of preventive measures wholesomely by everyone of us.”
He further reiterated the preventive measures that should be daily routine such as:
*frequent hand washing with soap,
*proper wearing of mask,
*practicing cough and sneeze etiquette,
*staying home if one has flu like-symptoms, and
*decontamination of most touched surfaces.
Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 5,904 cases of which 184 are related deaths, 1,170 are imported infections and 4,734 are locally transmitted.
Cumulatively, 5,300 cases have now recovered bringing the total number of active cases to 420 and umulatively, 60,907 tests have been conducted in the country so far since April.