Malawi government officials have dismissed as untrue rumours that Nkhatabay Hospital was treating a man who had contracted the Ebola virus.
Reports indicated Nkhatabay district hospital were treating Ebola patient who had boarded MV Ilala motor ship at Cobue port in Mozambique. He reportedly started showing signs and symptoms of the disease as the ship already sailing.
But Nkhatabay Health District Officer, Albert Mkandawire said there is no need for Malawians to panic as they were just conducting “screening exercises” in the district to prevent any possible entry of the virus into Malawi.
“The two people who were coming from Mozambique who many claimed were infected are all fine as am speaking now, we did not find them with the pandemic,” Mkandawire said.
Mkandawire added that the development forced health personnel in the district to conduct further screaming to people who were travelling on a ship through Lake Malawi to the district.
“It took us almost four hours to finish the exercises and nobody has been found with the virus, Malawians must not live in panic, there is no Ebola case in the country,” he insisted.
The Ministry of Health also weighed in, with Charles Mwansambo, director of health services saying: “Be assured that the hospital did not at any time detect any Ebola cases.”
Malawi, like most other countries of the world, has been on high alert since the outbreak of the killer disease with screening introduced at the main ports of entry to screen international passengers.
Ministry of Health officials said the airport screenings are currently done to those passengers from West African countries hit hardest by the Ebola virus – Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
The government also has set up quarantine centers at the country’s two airports – Kamuzu International Airport in the capital, Lilongwe, and Chileka Airport in the commercial capital, Blantyre – for those who may have contracted the virus.