Blantyre District director of health and social services Gift Kawalazira has condemned stigma against Covid-19 patients and suspects.
He made the remarks on Wednesday during a briefing at Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) following complaints from people suffering discrimination from society.
“People should treat Covid-19 suspects the same way they treat people suffering from any other disease. Any form of discrimination against them is an offence,” Kawalazira said.
He also said the DHO has embarked on tracing people who came in contact with a recent Covid-19 case who tested positive on April 26 2020 in Blantyre.
Reports indicate that the person travelled from Tanzania on April 18. On the same day, he travelled to Salima where he reportedly spent three days. On April 21, he boarded a bus from Salima to Blantyre.
“We have communicated to Salima DHO to trace his contact,” he said.
On her part, a businessperson who was suspected of having coronavirus, but tested negative, testified how people discriminated against her.
“People spread false news that I tested positive. Now my business has gone down as people do not want to come close to me,” she said.
She said she reported the matter to the DHO to assist her tell people that she was negative.
Blantyre has registered nine Covid-19 cases with one fatality. Meanwhile, Blantyre District Council has intensified precautionary measures against the spread of the pandemic in the city.