Some family members and workers of the man who recently died of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lilongwe are demanding that medical tests should be conducted on them to ascertain if they have contracted the virus or not.
Yousuf Bassa – a brother to a Dudha – accused the Ministry of Health of deceiving the nation by saying they tested positive to the virus yet no tests were done on them.
“Of course, we can confirm that health workers came here. But they did not conduct any test on us. They simply collected our names and phone numbers, promising us that tests would be conducted later. But they haven’t returned to test us,” said Bassa.
His accusation comes barely a few days after a Nkhotakota-based COVID-19 suspect also raised an alarm over how the Malawi Government handled his illness.
In a voice note conversation with his relative, which has gone viral on the social media, the Nkhotakota COVID-19 suspect is accusing authorities at the Capital Hill of faking his illness for political reasons.
Bassa said it was sad that the Ministry of Health went ahead to announce that they tested positive to the virus when no tests were conducted on them.
“Let them come to test us! We have been waiting for them. As we are talking to you now, everyone is discriminating against us, calling us COVID-19 patients yet we have not been tested,” he complained.
One of the mechanics at the deceased’s garage, Sama Shaibue, disclosed they will consider seeking redress, saying the news has negatively impacted their profession as mechanics.
“We wonder what their motive is. How can they tell the nation that we have tested positive yet no tests have been conducted on us?” asked Shaibu.
The development has also not pleased Deputy Mayor of the Lilongwe City Council, Richard Banda, who is accusing authorities at the Ministry of Health of creating panic and anxiety in Area 21 where the deceased’s family lives.
Banda said it is unfortunate that professionals such as doctors have started working like politicians now.
“One wonders why they could come only to collect names and phone numbers when what these people needed most was to get tested. I condemn in strongest terms the actions taken by health workers on this matter. Of course, we are not disputing that COVID-1 is real, but government has failed us on this one,” he said.
In a WhatsApp interview with Nyasa Times on Thursday morning, Chief of Health Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Charles Mwansambo, confirmed that doctors have not yet conducted medical tests on some family members and workers deceased businessman.
“The first group were immediate contacts. The second group is contacts of the positive contacts, and the cascading goes on. They will be [tested]. DHO Lilongwe is following up,” said Mwansambo.
The Ministry of Health spokesperson, Joshua Malango, told journalists in Lilongwe that the deceased had other underlying ailments.
On the other hand, the Secretary for Health, Dr Dan Namarika, warned Wednesday morning that the situation could worsen if no bold decision is made quickly to stop the spread of the pandemic in the country..
Namarika cautioned that based on the Kuunika Modelling of the virus pandemic, out of the 17 million population, Lilongwe could be the hardest hit with 1.5 million Covi-19 patients’ expected and 5 000 deaths.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :