Malawi running short of Covid-19 test kits
RUSTENBURG - Malawi is running low on Covid-19 test kits and the remaining kits will only be used to test people who show symptoms of Covid-19.
Chairman of the presidential task force on the coronavirus John Phuka said a consignment of test kits procured weeks ago had been delayed due to shipment challenges and was expected to arrive in the country in two weeks’ time, online publication Malawi24 reported.
Malawi has recorded 1,942 Covid-19 cases, including 25 deaths and 369 recoveries. Of the 1,942 cases, 711 were imported, while 1,158 were locally transmitted.
The country had recorded 17 cases and two deaths by April 17, when former president Peter Mutharika planned to lock down the country in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus, but the Lilongwe High Court blocked the lockdown.
During political campaigns ahead of the fresh presidential election on June 23, political parties drew large numbers of people to their rallies, where precautions such as physical distancing and hand washing were not observed.
The increasing number of Covid-19 cases has led to the cancellation of the independence day celebrations as well as the reopening of schools.
Independent newspaper The Nation reported that the Ministry of Health has asked community members to ensure that people who test positive for the coronavirus and their primary contacts are complying with self-quarantine.
The newspaper reported that some people who tested positive for Covid-19, as well as their contacts, were mingling in public places instead of being in self-quarantine.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Joshua Malango told the newspaper that it was the responsibility of community members to check whether the affected people were complying with the order to self-quarantine.
He said if people failed to comply, institutional quarantine would be imposed.