Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust (MLW) clinical researchers have said there is no guarantee that people who recover from Covid-19 will not contract the disease again.
This was said on Friday when MLW hosted a virtual press briefing to update the media on results of a sero-prevalence survey it conducted among healthcare workers in Blantyre to establish the cumulative incidence of Covid-19 infection.
MLW immunologist Dr Kondwani Jambo, who led the research, said the researchers are aware of precedence from other diseases where once a person gets infected, they are better off fighting it when it comes again.
However, he said that does not seem to be the case with Covid-19.
Said Jambo: “So far, there is no evidence that if you get Covid now you won’t get it again.
“We have a study that is running where we are recruiting people that have recovered from Covid-19 and we follow them up for one year. Every month, we see them and check if they have had any symptoms synonymous with Covid. We also take their blood samples to check for immunity to Covid-19.”
He said in six months or a year, they should be able to answer the Covid-19 immunity question for Malawi.
Presenting the research findings, MLW clinical research associate Dr Marah Chibwana, who was the deputy lead for the study, said the country could have more cases than reported because many cases are either asymptomatic or mild.
She said: “From these findings, we, therefore, recommend the mandatory use of face masks in all public places.”
Government has since made face masks mandatory in public places.
On Friday, Minister of Health Khumbize Chiponda gazetted Covid-19 rules which has made use of mask in all public places mandatory to break the chains of transmission and control the spread of the pandemic.