Frontline healthcare workers on Friday failed to go to Kaliyeka area, the coronavirus hotspot in the capital Lilongwe after the opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) issued threats that its members would burn vehicles and beat up the staff.
The healthcare workers were supposed to go to the area to trace at least 40 people who were believed to be in contact with a person who recently died of coronavirus in the area.
At least 10 other people have already tested positive.
Lilongwe District Health Office says it will only deploy it’s staff to collect samples from Kaliyeka after the MCP political leadership in the area assures them of their security.
Lilongwe DHO has particularly asked MP for the area Ulemu Msungama to go back to the community and clarify his earlier post which had initially doubted the authenticity of Covid-19 results in the area.
Msungama is named as the person who allegedly organised the MCP hooligans to stop the healthcare workers from doing their job.
A stakeholders meeting was held at Lilongwe Civic Center where relevant stakeholders; DHO, the MP, Lilongwe City Council, Police and Makawi Defence Force (MDF) are meeting to find a way on how to deal with issues in Kaliyeka.
Two other MCP members of parliament; Esther Kathumba and Monica Chang’anamuno went to the High Court to stop the government from implementing the lockdown.
Kathumba told Zodiak Broadcasting Station that coronavirus does not exist in the country.
Meanwhile, Joseph Msambathukuta Chasweka, the director of Chilinde Health Services (commonly called 24 hours clinic) where the victim visited, said the victim, Mr Dudha visited the clinic.
“It is true he visited our clinic and upon realising that his condition was deteriorating, he was referred to bigger facility for further investigations and treatment,” he said.
The clinician said communication to Covid-19 team was made and reaction was quick
“Within 24 hours,communication was done to us through Ministry of Health that the patient tested positive to covid 19and was communicated as a focal person directly and by then his name was all over
“Within 24 hours again news about his death spread rapidly especially within his community,” he said.
He said the Covid 19 team responded within an hour to collect the samples of family members and their immediate contacts plus advise on how to avoid further spread.
The clinician said more than 40 people arrived for the tests at his place but because of pressure and time they only managed to collect 28 samples of which 10 came positive, saying the rest were advised to come following day.
“All health workers of 24 hours clinic who had contact with the patient were advised to go for quarantine,to wait for five days sample to be collected for testing.”
He said the healthcare workers went there on Thursday and they disinfected the clinic plus surroundings areas.
However, with the threats, they could not go back on Friday.
At the time of going online, Director of Health Services Alinafe Mbewe has suggested that when the team goes for testing in Kaliyeka they should be accompanied by Msungama.
Meanwhile, Lilongwe City Council Mayor Juliana Kaduya has appealed to all those who tested positive in Kaliyeka as announced by government to follow all guidelines as advised by medical personnel.
Kaduya told reporters at a news conference in Lilongwe which followed a stakeholders meeting meant to find a way forward on the issue to do with Kaliyeka.
The Mayor has further asked communities in Lilongwe to allow health workers do their work without fear of attack.
Members of Parliament in Lilongwe City George Zulu, Alfred Jiya, Nancy Tembo and Msungama have urged all communities in Lilongwe to follow precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
The MPs have also asked health personnel to always ensure that those infected are informed first before government makes an announcement to the general public.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :