A deserted quarantine centre in Blantyre, Malawi. Picture: Twitter | @zodiakonline
A deserted quarantine centre in Blantyre, Malawi. Picture: Twitter | @zodiakonline

Search is on for 441 Malawians who broke out of quarantine centres

By Crispin Adriaanse Time of article published May 28, 2020

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Cape Town - More than 400 Malawians broke out of isolation and quarantine centres on Wednesday, with some complaining that their basic needs were not being met. A district health officer has given orders to track them down because their condition poses a major threat to the country’s population.

In Malawi’s second-largest city, Blantyre, 16 people who had tested positive for the coronavirus escaped from an isolation centre, reported AFP. The remaining 425 escaped from a quarantine centre at Kamuzu soccer stadium. Many of them were still awaiting their test results.

District health officer Gift Kawaladzira has ordered his team to track them down.

“Sixteen were positive already. Others were waiting for lab results. If most of them have Covid-19, then we are facing very difficult times ahead,” Kawaladzira said.

“The danger is that they will be hiding from authorities and hence cannot follow the set procedures for Covid-19 prevention,” Kawaladzira added.

A deserted quarantine centre in Blantyre, Malawi. Picture: Twitter | @zodiakonline

However, the BBC reported that the 425 who fled had complained about their basic needs not being met at the quarantine centre, citing a lack of access to water, food and toilets. 

On Monday, the 441 Malawians were repatriated from South Africa before being placed at the centres, according to AFP. The Malawians had been trapped in South Africa after the country went on complete lockdown in March and closed its borders. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recorded 101 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and four deaths in Malawi between April 3 and May 28. 

African News Agency (ANA)

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