Malawi on Friday reported a record 70 new coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic cases within 24 hours of recording another 102 infections bringing the total numbers to 273 as one of the Malawian returnees from South Africa has died few hours after arriving at his home village in Karonga.
Briefing journalists in Lilongwe on Friday, the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, co- chairperson Dr. John Phuka said the new 70 cases, 66 are from the buses that just returned from South Africa, two are a mother and baby who were being treated at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital.
“The mother and child recently travelled to South Africa,” said Phuka.
He said the other two cases are from Nsanje and Lilongwe.
The Lilongwe case is a local transmission and from Mtsiriza.
Malawi reported its first Covid-19 case on April 2 this year and only reached the 100-case mark on May 24 also largely due to 15 cases among arrivals from South Africa.
The country on Friday also received 120 Malawians deported from South Africa on specially cleared flights chartered by the South African Government, and another group of 120 deportees are expected on Saturday.
Farmers Union of Malawi president Prince Kapondamgaga, who is a member of the task force, said the country need rapid response to the pandemic.
Phuka, a public health specialist himself, said they are considering institutional quarantine only for cases with symptoms for easy management.
Meanwhile, a 42 year old man who recently returned from South Africa has died, Karonga Director of Health and Social Services (DHSS), David Sibale confirmed on Friday.
He said the person was brought to the hospital already dead and the hospital officials are suspecting him to have been suffering from Coronavirus.
“The deceased has been living in South Africa and he arrived in Karonga on Thursday afternoon. The man was complaining of fever and general body pains. We are yet to establish if he had Coronavirus. We are just waiting specimen test results from our laboratory in Chilumba,” said Sibale.
However, Sibale said considering that the deceased had just arrived from a high risk Covid-19 country, the body has been handled following Covid-19 safety precautions and supervised by health officials for safe burial.
The deceased hailed from Simfukwe Village in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Kyungu in Karonga.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :