Authorities have intensified a search for coronavirus (Covid-19) patient – a Covidiot – who bolted from a self quarantine in Dedza as eight people also escaped from Kameza Isolation Centre in Blantyre after testing positive to Covid-19 upon arrival from South Africa.
A blend of Covid-19 and idiot, covidiot is a slang insult for someone who disregards healthy and safety guidelines about the novel coronavirus.
The patient’s primary contact is also on the run fearing that health authorities would track and test him for the disease.
The Covidiot had just arrived from South Africa.
It is believed that the two are hiding in Zomba.
Zomba District Environmental Health Officer (DEHO) Innocent Mvula said they received information from Dedza District Health Officer that one person who returned from South Africa and had a friend who tested positive was on the run and was believed to be in Zomba.
He said when authorities tried to contact the person on his mobile phone, he only answered that he was traveling on Lake Chilwa.
“What we hear is that the two returned from South Africa a few weeks ago and were staying in Dedza,” Mvula said, adding that, “But when a friend tested positive of the disease, the other one decided to escape for fear of being tested. We are doing everything possible to ensure we find him because he is a big threat to the district.”
“The most worrisome thing is that should this person be found positive, he will have transmitted the disease to so many others; hence, putting lives of many at risk,” he added.
The DEHO explained that, “The second person is a truck driver who was another primary contact of the person who tested positive in Dedza. When we tried to call him, he said he was in Mozambique but when we tried to check in our borders, there was no record of him leaving the country, which means he is still in the country and he could be spreading the disease as well.”
Mvula said the DHO would involve the Police and telecommunication companies in tracing the people.
On the status of the district, he said a lot was still being done, including training of more health workers and awareness campaign by various players.
Zomba District has so far registered two Covid-19 cases.
Among others, the district has established quarantine and isolation centres and has a district based Covid-19 testing laboratory at Zomba General Hospital.
Meanwhile, Blantyre District director of health services Dr. Gift Kawalazira said he is positive the escapees will be traced and put on quarantine to reduce the risk of infection to the population.
He said the other returnees are being repatriated to their respective homes after undergoing tests on the understanding that they will observe a 14-day self-isolation.
According to Kawalazira, the district health offices (DHOs) in their respective homes are under instruction to make follow-ups as a precautionary measure.
Malawi’s Covid-19 cases stand at 101 with four deaths and 60 active cases since the first cases were reported on April 2.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :