Health experts are insisting the wearing of face masks must be compulsory to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus amid soaring numbers of Covid-19 cases in the country, exceeding 100 deaths.
The death toll due to cooronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in the country now stands at 103 after four new deaths were recorded in the past 24 hours according to the ministry of Health.
The ministry says 45 new cases have been confirmed which means cumulatively Malawi has 3, 709 cases with 1,668 recoveries, bringing total number of active cases to 1,937.
Health activist Dorothy Ngoma said the war against Covid-19 would be fruitless if people continue to ignore observing strict pandemic preventive measures.
“We cannot win this war if people continue to take things busisness as usual. Wearing of face asks should be mandatory,” she said.
She said Malawi is sitting on a time bomb, saying the situation on Covid-19 might go out of hand because of rampant poverty, infections, poor state of the economy and malnutrition among other factors.
Malawi Equity Health Network (MEHN) executive director George Jobe said the increasing number of Covid-19 infections in the country is now reaching worrying proportions.
“This is very devastating. We need to change our behavior in view of the Covid-19,” he said.
Human Rights lawyer Chrispine Sibande told a Views Triangle program on Zodiak on Saturday that the government can make wearing of masks mandatory, saying what the High Court stopped was the implementation of a lock down.
He stressed wearing masks should not replace social distancing, but should be used where people are still having to meet.
Meanwhile, infectious disease experts Adamson Muula and Titus Divala, have warned that the country may register a continued rise of coronavirus cases and deaths in the next few weeks before the cases start to level out, according to quotes reported in The Nation, a daily newspaper.
“Things are not looking good for our country. We are now seeing five to seven reported deaths [daily]. These numbers are bound to increase and sometime next week or even this week, we could reach double digits [of daily reported deaths],” said Muula, who is a professor of public health and epidemiology at the University of Malawi’s College of Medicine.
On his part, Divala predicted that August will be a very difficult month for the country.
“We are at the beginning of the epidemic, it has just started hitting us hard. I would say August will be a very difficult month for Malawi in terms of rising cases and I don’t see it completely going down in September but probably as we end September it will have started slowing down a little bit,” said Divala.
Coronavirus is spread when droplets are sprayed into the air when infected people talk, cough or sneeze. Those droplets can then fall on surfaces.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says there is also emerging evidence of airborne transmission of the virus, with tiny particles hanging in aerosol form in the air.
Homemade cloth face-coverings can help reduce the spread from people who are contagious but have no symptoms or are yet to develop symptoms.
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