Health officials in the northern region are asking for a coronavirus testing facility to boost national efforts to combat the virus pandemic.
Mzimba North acting director of health and social services Naomi Mulwafu said the northern region needs its own testing centre if they are to contain the outbreak.
She said whenever there is a suspect, health officials take a sample and send to laborotaries either in Lilongwe or Blantyre.
“This is a problem because we can’t get the results immediately,” said Mulwafu after receiving preventive materials from World Vision on Thursday.
In his address to the nation on Saturday evening, President Peter Mutharika announced the opening of new testing centres for COVID-19 and the recruitment by the health ministry of 2,000 extra staff.
President Mutharika said government is increasing the number of testing centres in various parts of the country over and above the three laboratories the country has; the National Health Reference Laboratory in Lilongwe, College of Medicine Laboratory and the Malawi Liverpool Welcome Trust in Blantyre.
“We need more soldiers and human power in this fight,” said the Malawi leader.
He also directed treasury to increase the risk allowances for our health workers as a matter of urgency.
President Mutharika has refused a to rule out a nationwide lockdown, as he said “more comprehensive measures may be imposed”.
The virus that emerged in Wuhan, China, last December has spread to at least 179 countries and territories with a global death toll of over 40,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.