Blantyre District Health Office has started screening health workers for coronavirus (Covid-19) as part of measures to ensure their safety from the lethal virus.
Director of Health and Social Services Gift Kawalazila told reporters Wednesday in Blantyre that the exercise has started with all health workers who have been screening travellers since January and all who have once worked at Kameza isolation centre.
“We have so far screened 82 heath workers out of which five have come out positive for Covid-19. We have one 28 yr old Male, two 32 yr old females, a 35 yr old male, and a 42 yr old male,” he says.
Kawalazila says all the five are all in good health and hopes are high that they recover without symptoms.
“Some of the five are all self-isolating in their homes while others are under intuitional quarantine at College of Medicine. The DHO is keeping a close eye on them, and we hereby call upon their communities to be supportive,” Kawalazila says
He however says he is concerned that some community members have been harassing health workers in the streets and minibuses of Blantyre.
“In other countries, where people understand the value and sacrifice these brave men and women are taking, and what their families do go through daily, people applaud and support them,” he says.
Kawalazila says the Blantyre DHO and partners, are reorganizing work schedules and creating staff quarantine and isolation centres.
“At the top of our considerations is to create 14-day work shifts followed by 14-day wash out period in institution-designed quarantine at one of the universities’ hostels, then a Covid-19 test, followed by a 14 day break at home with family.”
“Covid-19 is here and it needs to be battled head-on and severely defeated,” Kawalazila says.
Malawi has so far registered 63 cases of Covid-19 since the first case early April.
Minister of Health Jappie Mhango said Wednesday that three people have so far died while 24 have recovered.