Rekindling memories of last December, government and health experts are wary that the citizenry’s laxity in following Covid-19 preventive measures may lead to a surge in the number of cases.
The festivities normally attract many people, and last year the country witnessed a surge in cases during this period. Looking at figures in Malawi and neighbouring countries, experts are wary of the situation and demand immediate action.
Kamuzu University of Health Sciences epidemiology and public health professor Adamson Muula said people should be wiser now, having lived with the pandemic for almost two years.
He said weddings, prayers and entertainment events remain dangerous and must be seriously checked to ensure that all people are protected.
“Let us concentrate on vaccination because sometime we may not avoid these things,” said Muula.
Physicians Assistants Union of Malawi president Solomon Chomba said the rising figures are a beginning of the fourth wave of Covid-19.
He said: “The current trend must send a strong message to us all to strictly observe Covid-19 preventive measures.
“Above all, what we need is a strong immunity within ourselves to combat the disease.”
In a daily update on Sunday, Health Minister Khumbidze Chiponda said the spread of misinformation through various channels, including social media and other digital platforms is proving as much a threat to our public health response as the virus itself.
“It has resulted in a blatant disregard of important public health instructions,” she said.
Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 co-chairperson Dr. Wilfred Chalamira Nkhoma said people need to continue following the laid out rules in preventing the pandemic.
“We have decided that everyone coming into the country must provide a negative certificate and a vaccine certificate.
“If they don’t have, they must be tested at the border and those who don’t want to be vaccinated must be sent on 10-day quarantine and must be retested thereafter.”