Government is yet to finish an isolation centre for coronavirus patients in Lilongwe, forcing all the three patients in the Capital City to be placed on quarantine in their home.
Nyasa Times understands that all the three coronavirus patients are in one house in Area 9 due to the unavailability of the coronavirus isolation centre.
“Medical personnel just visit them. It is doubtful that they even have ventilators,” said a health official.
The patients are a 61-old woman and her grand child of Asian origin who had recently travelled from India where they are suspected to have contracted the disease and wife to the woman’s house keeper.
Government is still constructing an isolation centre near Old Airport, a place which used to be a leprosy centre.
Officials from Ministry of Health say putting the patients in the house is not a threat as the residence is in a complete lockdown.
There are currently five confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, with two registered in Blantyre.
The latest victim is a female who arrived in the country last week from the United Kingdom..
There are growing fears that the pandemic will cause major challenges for Malawi’s under-resourced health services.
President Peter Mutharika has not ruled out imposing a lockdown to confine all but essential workers to their homes.
Observers says in Malawi, self-isolation is not practical in the ‘hood’ as most people live in squatter locations where poverty grinds hard with lifestyle of smoking and alcohol drinking.
Mutharika declared a state of disaster on March 23 to combat the virus. Schools are closed and the government says it is urging people to work from home and follow hand-washing and social-distancing guidelines.
All social gatherings of more than 100 people, such as funerals, church services and political rallies, have been banned.
But to most people its business as usual.
“When life is a struggle it is hard to worry about a threat you cannot see,” commented one Naomi Chaima from Mbwatalika in Lilongwe.
Mutharika said government will continue monitoring and review situation as it infolds warning that “more comprehensive measures may be imposed.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :