Malawians should brace themselves for tougher times ahead due to the looming third wave of Covid-19 currently on rampage in Kenya, President Lazarus Chakwera has cautioned.
Responding to a question from Nyasa Times on behalf of the president during a State House bi-weekly press briefing President Chakwera’s spokesperson, Brian Banda said the Chakwera – Tonse Alliance administration is aware of the impending new wave of novel coronavirus and that it is putting into place sterner measures in a bid to curb it.
Said the presidential mouthpiece, Banda: “President Chakwera and his administration is aware of the third wave of the new wave of the pandemic that is hitting hard the people of Kenya.
“President Chakwera is therefore cautioning all Malawians and everybody in Malawi to stay vigilant and be alert. The president is, therefore, appealing to all people to tighten their bolts and toughen their observation of Covid-19 accepted protocols which among others are chiefly; regular and thorough washing hands, masking up and keeping social distance,” added the Chakwera’s mouthpiece.
Kenya, a country which shares an open border with Tanzania is currently ravaged by a third wave of Covid 19. Tanzania, on the other hand, shares a free movement border with Malawi, which is spongy and porous and that means that Malawi is at high risk of getting the third wave from Kenya through Tanzania, a country that stands between the two countries.
Kenya has since officially announced a third wave of the COVID-19 outbreak this week, while the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Africa region reported a “slight uptick in cases and an upward trend in 12 countries, including in Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Cameroon.”
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, during the weekly press conference said there was an upward trend in some countries.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has since tightened up the country’s COVID-19 measures, extending the 9pm curfew and decreeing that bars and restaurants close by 9pm.
Kenya recorded 713 new cases and 12 deaths on Wednesday, a record number since the start of this year. The positivity rate is up to 14% since November last year and the country’s total official death toll is 1,898.
The Africa CDC reported a 13% average increase in deaths for Kenya for this week’s COVID-19 epidemiology update. Africa Centres for Disease Control (CDC) director John Nkengasong told last week’s WHO Africa briefing that “we are beginning to see the beginning of a third wave in East Africa.”
The WHO warned that Africa is poised to surpass 4 million COVID-19 infections this week since the continent’s first confirmed case in February 2020 but described the arrival of vaccines in the continent over the past two weeks via COVAX as a “crucial boost.”
More than 14.6 million vaccine doses have been delivered to 22 African countries since 24 February through COVAX, a global vaccine effort co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the WHO.
“While deaths reported have dropped by more than 50% over the past 28 days compared with the previous 28 days, the case fatality ratio or the proportion of deaths among confirmed cases is at 3.6% for the past 28 days. This is higher than the global average,” warned the WHO Africa.
However, Malawi is yet to announce stringent new measures in line with the surging up of the third wave of the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic, but State House is upbeat that ‘things’ will be under control.
In a separate interview Banda said: “President Chakwera is taking the fight against Covid-19 very seriously, and he (the president) and his vice president Dr. Saulos Klaus Chilima (together with everyone in the Tonse Alliance) are doing all they can to ensure that people are safe hence the rolling out of the vaccine.
Banda emphasized that the vaccine that has been rolled out for administering to the people is safe.
“People must not be involved in the politics of the vaccine. People should refrain from conspiracy theories. The vaccine that has come into the country was rigorously checked and was certified by those in the know to be fit for purpose and good for consumption.
“This vaccine is safe and very effective to protect us and that is President Dr. Chakwera and Vice President Dr. Chilima took the first shots of the vaccine to show the people that everything is fine and safer,” explained Banda.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :