Ministry of Health Principal Secretary (PS) Dan Namarika has said up to 16 million Malawians could be infected with Covid-19, the strands of the novel coronavirus pandemic in a year.
Currently, Malawi’s population is estimated at 17.6 million, according to the 2018 Population and Housing Census conducted by the National Statistical Office.
But during a media briefing in Blantyre to update the nation on status of Covid-19, Namarika said the ministry using the Kuunika model, the projection shows that about 483 000 will require hospitalisation with 85 000 in critical care.
According to Namarika, the virus situation could worsen in the country if no bold decision is made quickly to stop the spread of the pandemic in the country and that 50 000 Malawians could die.
“We are at war and the war continues, it’s up to us Malawians to choose life, we have opportunity to control the disease,” said Namarika, who was personal physician for the late president Bingu wa Mutharika and attended to him when he died of cardiac arrest in 2012.
Namarika said the Kuunika model further predicts that the coronavirus infection in Lilongwe will hit 1.5 million and 5 000 death.
He said Malawi could save lives by timely intervention, saying people should be vigilant in observing social-distancing and hygiene measures to suppress transmission of the killer virus.
Namarika cautioned that coronavirus is extremely dangerous as developed countries are struggling to beat the pandemic.
“We already have volatile health situation in the country which is not found in such countries making us more disadvantaged,” he said.
According to Namarika, the virus pandemic spread is accelerating in Malawi with local transmissions of the disease now at 23 and three recorded deaths.
“There are other people that are critics to the Covid-19 updates; what you need to know is that we are dealing with science and the beauty with it is evidence and data. It is not something that one can just sit down and create. The evidence is there,” said Namarika.
“The Malawi Health Service System has all our partners on the table like WHO, Centre for Disease Control and therefore, there was no reason and motivation to fabricate the figures as they can be verified by anyone of us,” he said.
“We have a clear quality control laboratory service that is being provided. Let’s trust our system and that the figures being given are a true reflection of how the pandemic has hit the country,” Namarika added.
On December 31 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) was alerted of several cases of pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China.
WHO declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 12 2020.
In Malawi, President Peter Mutharika declared Covid-19 a State of National Disaster on March 20. The country reported its first three confirmed cases on April 2 2020.
Currently, global Covid -19 death toll surpassed 180,000, with the number of confirmed cases exceeding 2.6 million.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom said Wednesday: “Make no mistake: We have a long way to go. This virus will be with us for a long time.”
He also noted that some regions in Western Europe were beginning to see a decline in the COVID-19 numbers, but worryingly, there is an upward trend in Africa, Central and South America, as well as Eastern Europe.
“Most countries are still in the early stages of their epidemics,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :