Even though Malawi has not yet registered positive Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases as of now, Plan International Malawi has stepped up precautionary sanitation measures as a way of making sure to live by example in preventing the spread of the new epidemic.
Plan International Malawi’s Communications & Campaigns Manager, Rodgers Siula said everyone, from staff to visitors, is encouraged to wash hands with soap and hand sanitizer at the entrance of all their offices.
This, Siula adds, will inculcate a culture of sanitation among the staff and all its visitors to encourage their families and friends to follow these measures in the bid to help Malawi escape from the disease, which world Health Organisation (WHO) has described as a global epidemic.
At the entrance to all Plan International Malawi offices, are displays of how people can continue with the precautionary measures as set by WHO.
Commenting on social member, one member of the public applauded the measures that one office in Lilongwe is doing as a preventive system.
The commentator had said he had gone for a meeting at the said offices on Monday and what he experienced felt like a little excessive but he appreciated the length the officers there went to demonstrate seriousness.
“We had to wash hands and sanitize 4 times — at the gate, entrance hall, first floor and before entering the office of the meeting,” said the commentator.
Another commentator, a medical practitioner observed that when he went into a hospital ward many visitors but when he tried to impress on them that it was imperative that they leave, his message went on deaf ears.
“They would not bulge. They did not move. [There were] 10 visitors for one patient. It will take huge efforts to change behaviour.”
The Ministry of Health has since set up measures to limit the number of visits people can make to hospitals to visit their loved ones who have been admitted for ailments that are not related to COVID-19.
According to information on the ground, the symptoms of COVID-19 include infection in the throat that start with a sore throat lasting 3/4 days.
The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5/6 days further.
With pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty in breathing. The nasal congestion is not like the normal kind as a patient feels like they are drowning.
On what to do as preventive measures, if one has a runny nose and sputum, they have a common cold because Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose.
This new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 26/27 Celsius.
If someone sneezes with it, it takes about 10 feet before it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne.
If it drops on a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hours. So if someone comes into contact with any metal surface, they must wash their hands as soon as possible with a bacterial soap.
On fabric, it can survive for 6-12 hours and normal laundry detergent will kill it.
Drinking warm water is effective for all viruses and people are discouraged from drinking liquids with ice.
People are advised to wash their hands frequently as the virus can only live on hands for 5-10 minutes, but a lot can happen during that time such as rub eyes, picking the nose unwittingly among others.
People who feel the symptoms should also gargle as prevention with a simple solution of salt in warm water. And there is an emphasize on drink plenty of water.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :