Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 co-chairperson Dr. John Phuka has asked Malawians to continue observing Covid-19 preventive measures, particularly during the festive season when gatherings could put many people at risk.
Speaking in Thyolo on Saturday when the task force and Ministry of Health officials held a meeting with journalists, he said a lot happens during the festive season, including parties and travels, which could expose people to the risk of contracting the virus.
Said Phuka: “Regionally, the cases are rising and we need to be extra careful. Let’s avoid parties and unnecessary travels. We are particularly concerned with those coming in for holidays. There are many buses coming in from South Africa and even if we check at the border, there is a chance that some might get into the country with the virus.”
He also asked the media to continue spreading messages of Covid-19 preventive measures.
Phuka reiterated that countries such as the United Kingdom, United States of America and South Africa are experiencing a second wave of the pandemic and that Malawi could experience the same if people relax on measures.
Some of the preventive measures as announced by the task force include practising social distancing, avoiding hand-shakes, regular handwashing or the use of hand-sanitiser and wearing masks in public places.
On his part, Ministry of Health acting deputy director for health education services, Mavuto Thomas, said the reduction in number of new Covid-19 infections in the past couple of months has led to a relaxation on preventive measures.
“As the media, you have a critical role to continue sensitising the masses to keep observing preventive measures and avoid the second wave,” he said.
According to Thomas, as of Saturday, there were 11 buses at Mwanza Border Post carrying about 500 people from South Africa. He said the ministry has checkpoints at the border where all travellers are tested for Covid-19.