Phalombe District Health Office (DHO) says it is facing challenges in ensuring that Covid-19 cases remain in self-quarantine.
In an interview, Phalombe district environmental health officer Chimwemwe Jella said most of the suspects and confirmed cases were freely interacting with the public despite being advised to stay at home and protect others from the risk of catching the virus.
He said: “Our role as health personnel is to assist them medically and counsel them on how to observe isolation.
“Ensuring that they are staying at home is a responsibility of community leaders and members as well as the police.”
Jella said the DHO involves police and traditional leaders in handling Covid-19 suspects to foster adherence.
“But we are surprised to see that suspects are not following the guidelines,” he said.
But Phalombe Police Station spokesperson Innocent Moses denied police involvement in handling Covid-19 cases and suspects.
He also said police in the district were not fully mandated to enforce Covid-19 self-quarantine measures.
Residents have since called for the need for follow ups on cases and their contacts.
Senior Chief Nazombe said she was not surprised that Covid-19 cases were not adhering to self-quarantine measures.
“People might be willing to stay at home after being suspected to have been exposed to Covid; however, for them to stay for 14 days without going out to look for food for their families is difficult,” she said.
The DHO is yet to orient traditional leaders on how they can enforce Covid-19 self-quarantine measures.
Phalombe has nine confirmed cases with most being managed at home.