Malawi Police in Nkhata Bay has swiftly rescued a coronavirus (Covid-19) patient whom an angry mob wanted to administer mob justice after he had run away from a quarantine centre in Karonga on Saturday.
Chintheche police station officer-in-charge Alex Simenti said the police officers rushed to the scene after an angry mob had already surrounded the house of the 27-year-old patient’s grandparents ready to set it ablaze with him inside.
“If we delayed by few minutes, the angry people could have torched the house, he could have died in the house,” said Simenti.
He said the police swiftly took him away and is in self quarantine in another house within Chintheche.
He justified the reason for putting him in self quarantine after he had run away from a government quarantine, saying Nkhata Bay has no quarantine centre.
“He knows very well that if he runs away again, people will kill him,” said the officer-in-charge.
Nkhata Bay District Hospital spokesperson Christopher Singini confirmed that the young man is under their care, but at home, because “he has proved to be difficult”.
He said:” Our job now is contact tracing. We have to find all those he came into contact with, even at bars.”
Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) executive director George Jobe has condemned the patient’s behaviour, stating, people need to understand that they are put in isolation or quarantine for their own good and also for the society at large.
“This patient is reckless, and I wish there was a way to punish him. He deserves a prison sentence,” he said.
Minister of Health Jappie Mhango, who on Tuesday expressed surprise with the escape, said in an interview the gazetted rules on Covid-19 management stipulate punishments for such people – christened as Covidiots.
A blend of Covid-19 and idiot, covidiot is a slang insult for someone who disregards healthy and safety guidelines about the novel coronavirus.
The patient was quarantined after testing positive to coronavirus soon after his arrival from Tanzania where he had lived for one year and eight months.
Since April 2 when President Peter Mutharika announced the first three cases, Malawi has recorded 63 cases, including three deaths.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :