An angry mob at Ngonga, 12 kilometres away from Chintheche in Nkhata Bay, on Tuesday night descended on the house of a 27-year-old man who escaped from an isolation centre at Karonga District Hospital on Saturday.
In an interview yesterday, Chintheche Police Station officer-in-charge Alex Simenti said the people were not pleased with the man’s presence in the area and with reports that he had been visiting places in the area.
Reports indicate that the escapee travelled to Mpata in Karonga before proceeding to his home at Kachere near Chintheche.
Said Simenti: “They did not want him to be in the area. So, they wanted to torch the house and kill him. But some well-wishers alerted police. When we reached there, they told us that they did not want him in the area.
“With the help of medical personnel, we took him to his relatives at Chintheche, where they also refused to accommodate him. After convincing them, they accepted him.”
Eye witnesses in Nkhata Bay said the patient was in contact with many people who used the same public transport and that he patronised drinking joints at Chintheche.
Hospital authorities in Karonga and Nkhata Bay admitted on Tuesday they were in a dilemma regarding tracing the patient’s contacts.
Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) executive director George Jobe condemned the patient’s conduct.
Minister of Health Jappie Mhango said in an interview on Tuesday the gazetted rules on Covid-19 management stipulate punishments for such people.
“I am still grappling with the puzzle on how he escaped. I have since instituted investigations,” he said.