President Peter Mutharika has said that “more measures” – expected to be tough – may have to be imposed in an attempt to tackle the coronavirus as the country has recorded its first three cases.
Mutharika said in a televised address to the nation on Thursday.
“Malawi had no cases of the virus. Sadly, we now have three confirmed cases,” Mutharika said.
The grim-faced Mutharika reminded Malawians of what they can do to help stop the spread.
He said it was absolutely crucial that they follow public health guidance.
“Let me remind all Malawians that coronavirus is preventable and we can save lives if we do the following things among us. One, observe social distancing not less than one metre apart.
“Two, observe proper handwashing with soap for not less than 20 seconds. Three, avoid coughing or sneezing into one’s hands.”
Mutharika said one of the virus patients is a 63-year-old who had recently travelled to India.
“Upon arrival in Malawi, she placed herself in self-quarantine for 14 days but later became symptomatic within the quarantine period,” said Mutharika.
The other two who have tatsted positive to the virus are her relation and her domestic worker.
Mutharika said the government would provide medical care for the three patients and track down their immediate contacts to prevent the disease spreading as they will be put on quarantine for 14 days.
At the moment, the government’s response is still in that first stage – containing the outbreak- but Mutharika said he will announce new measures.
“Not long from today, in view of the confirmed coronavirus case I will be addressing the nation again to announce more measures to stop the spread of corona virus .
Other people have suggested that curfews and restrictions on movement – as seen in nations like South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya – could be needed to control the outbreak.
Mutharika, nonetheless, called for calm.
“Let us not panic, let us becareful. Together we can win this fight,” he said.
Global coronavirus cases have soared past one million as the pandemic explodes in the US and the death tolls continue to climb , according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Scientists have said each person with coronavirus infects 2.5 people and that takes about five days. This means, over a period of 30 days, more than 400 people will have been infected as a result of that one person.
If a person halves their social exposure, that first infection leads to only 15 infections after 30 days.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :