Director of Health and Social services for Blantyre, Gift Kawalazira has urged the media to disseminate positive messages amid the fear and anxiety that has engulfed the world over Covid-19.
Updating the media on Wednesday on Covid-19 situation in the city, Kawalazira emphasised that being infected with Covid-19 is not a death sentence as a lot of patients do recover from the disease.
However, he was quick to point out that those with underlying medical conditions or old age are the ones mostly at risk.
He said his office is currently tracing close to 70 people out of which 12 people were tested and one tested positive.
He explained that all the three cases in Blantyre are limited to households of travellers that came into the country meaning that there is no local transmission in the city so far.
Kawalazira further dismissed reports that those under quarantine at Kameza isolation centre are going about looking for foodstuffs in shops and nearby markets.
He said, all people there are under strict isolation and basic essentials are being provided by their families. However, his office is also providing to those in need of such assistance.
The Director of Health and Social services said according to a projection model for Blantyre, if the district starts to record local transmission, almost 60 percent of the 1. 5 million people in Blantyre will be infected, which is about 900 000 people.
“And those that will be infected and get healed will automatically develop what we call herd Immunity,” he said.
On preparedness, he said in case of more infections, they have set Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital as treatment centre for health workers and college of Medicine hostels as their isolation centre.
For the general population, a treatment centre with ICU has already been set at Kameza and hostels at Kamuzu College of Nursing, the Polytechnic and Malawi College of Health Sciences will be used as isolation centres.
However, he called for more medical resources to help protect medical officers so that they are able to treat the patients.
Government, NGOs and leaders from all sectors are advancing various precutionary measures against COVID-19 which has affected eight people and killed one in the country.
President Peter Mutharika on March 20, banned public gatherings and ordered closure of schools as part of drastic measures to cut densification.
The President went on to declare a State of Disaster and set up a K15 billion fund to deal with the crisis.
City Councils are also implementing precutionary measures such as promoting hand washing, decongesting markets and a ban on street vending.
Covid-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. Over 1 455 000 people have been infected with the disease which has killed over 83 000 people a cross the globe.
Africa has registered close to 11 000 cases of which over 1,200 have recovered while close to 540 have died.