Seven people have recovered from the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in the country three each in Blantyre and Lilongwe and one from Chikwawa, Ministry of Health officials have announced.
Giving a Covid-19 status update in Lilongwe yesterday, Minister of Health Jappie Mhango said the 37th case was confirmed 24 hours prior to the announcement at the testing laboratory at Mzuzu Central Hospital.
The minister said: “The person is a 40-year-old man who returned from Mbeya, Tanzania on 27 April 2020. On 28 April, the village head was alerted that there was someone who had just arrived from Tanzania.
“The vil l age head instructed him to be on self-quarantine and alerted health officials. A sample was collected from him and came out positive for Covid-19.”
Mhango said healthcare workers are currently tracing the man’s contacts to arrange isolation and testing for Covid-19.
From April 2 when President Peter Mutharika announced the first three Covid-19 cases, the country has had 37 cases, including three deaths and the seven recoveries.
Mhango said the 27 remaining positive cases are still under management by the health system. He said: “They are all clinically stable.”
In a related development, Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) has issued a public notice inviting people that travelled with a recent case on a bus from Salima to Blantyre to report to the nearest health facilities for testing as part of contact tracing.
In the statement, the office said the person travelled from Tanzania on April 18 and proceeded to Salima using an imported private vehicle. He reportedly spent three days in Salima before proceeding to Blantyre on a Matours bus around 2.30pm on April 21. The bus was coming from Mzuzu to Blantyre.
In an interview yesterday, Blantyre DHO environmental and education officer Penjani Chunda said they will come up with the number of traced contacts in due course. He said the office has already contacted the bus operator.
“We are still tracing people. I cannot tell you the figures now, just to let you know that we went to Matours bus and we will continue,” he said.
In Lilongwe, Lilongwe DHO director of health and social services Alinafe Mbewe said her team is yet to finalise contact tracing for their last case which was in Kaliyeka Township
“So far we have traced 45 people who were directly in contact with the last case in Lilongwe. We are remaining with five contacts to get tested,” she said.
Cumulatively, Lilongwe has 23 cases—including two deaths—Blantyre nine, including one death and one case each in Mzuzu, Zomba, Karonga, Nkhotakota and Chikwawa.
To date, 700 people have been traced and about 180 tests conducted.
Malawi declared Covid-19 a national disaster on March 20 2020