Chitipa district commissioner (DC) Humphrey Gondwe died of coronavirus (Covid-19)esterday, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development Charles Kalemba has confirmed.
In the last 24 hours, two deaths ,including that of Gondwe, have been reported with 20 new cases bringing the number of Covid-19 deaths to eight, out of 592 confirmed cases from 9022 tests conducted in Malawi so far.
There have been 73 recoveries since the disease was first reported in the country in April this year.
Kalemba in an interview yesterday said Gondwe, 58, did not travel but may have contracted the virus through contact with infected people, considering the porosity of the country’s borders.
He said: “He died in the morning and as I speak to you, health workers are preparing for his burial. He will be buried today. He tested positive on Tuesday 16th June and was taken to Wezi Medical Centre in Mzuzu where he died.”
Gondwe is survived by a wife and four children.
Kalemba added that the deceased’s close contacts, including civil servants, have already been tested with six testing positive.
“The six civil servants also include two health workers. Contact tracing is currently underway for all council members who were in contact with the DC,” he said.
The second Covid-19 death recorded yesterday is that of a 23-year-old man who returned from South Africa.
Presidential Task Force co-chairperson John Phuka said the young man died at Mwanza District Hospital.
Asked on the possibility of opening schools on July 13 as proposed by the Covid-19 Task Force Education Sector, Phuka said they are still deliberating on the proposal, considering that confirmed cases are increasing daily.
He said: “As a committee, we met today and we discussed measures in place and propositions to open schools. The date is a proposal subjected to guidance, we have to look at the status of the pandemic before opening schools.”
On 20 March 2020, Covid-19 was declared a national disaster in Malawi and on April 2 2020, the country registered its first cases of Coronavirus.