Malawi will drastically cut the time it takes to have results of coronavirus testing following the acquisition of its own testing equipment.
Minister of Health Jappie Mhango says the medical equipment has been acquired with the help of World Health Organization.
“The equipment will help Malawi get results faster than is the case now when we get the results after 48 hours as the tests are done in South Africa,” he said.
He said the equipment will become operational next month after the training of personnel to run it.
This comes at a time when some Malawians say the government is not serious in coronavirus checks at airports.
One frustrated Malawian posted on his Facebook timeline: “The Coronavirus check at KIA is a pure joke. I walk in from a plane from S.A. there’s a form to fill and among the questions is _Have you been to China?_ I answer NO. Then there are questions about the symptoms if you have any. Apparently I have flu and I have been coughing so I answer yes to these questions.
“The guy administering this question paper tells me to tick NO since I haven’t been to China. I want to argue but he quickly ticks NO for me and urges me to proceed. That’s all.”
While another Malawian whose daughter was in China for studies says she has now completed her self quarantine having arrived from China two weeks ago.
Writing on his face book wall, Siku Nkhoma says the daughter arrived on February 15 and was told she had to self quarantine as they arrived at KIA.
He says on her flight there were three students returning home and one Chinese national.
“We went to pick her BUT she was so ahead with her disinfecting and prevention regime.
For two weeks she literally spent all the time in her room only coming out to pick the food we left on the door.
“She disinfected all the utensils and everything she touched and had her masks on and gloves for the whole two weeks. Our house smelt like a hospital ward. We told everyone not to come and see her as our home was under quarantine,” Nkhoma says.
He says around the time she got home several other students based in China (but outside of Wuhan / Huvei Province) came and were told to be in self quarantine but she said only student in Blantyre was following the rules.
But Minister Mhango said said Cabinet committee is “very alert” on Coronavirus.
“We have maintained different precautionary measures such as screening coronavirus in all travellers arriving in the country through international airports, providing mechanism for laboratory confirmation of the virus in those suspected of the infecton, educating the masses of the disease and ensuring that hospitals have the capacity and drugs to manage coronavirus suspected patiens among others.
“The activities see to prevent coronavirus from being transmitted to Malawi and also prepare the country to handle any case should a coronavirus case be diagnosed.
Minister Mhango reminded the public of the need to practice personal hygiene such as avoiding close contact with people who are sick and washing hands frequently with soap to prevent infection.
Meanwhile, government is following up for 14 days travellers from China, Italy, France, Germany, and South Korea who were suspected of carrying coronavirus.
The Cabinet committee has since advised Malawians to avoid non-essential travel to affected countries until the outbreak is controlled.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :