Blantyre district health and social services director Gift Kawalazira says the burial of a 51-year-old woman of Indian origin who died yesterday from coronavirus (Covid-19) complications was not attended by family members.
He said in an interview at around noon yesterday that the burial was conducted by health workers and that nobody, including family members, were allowed to attend.
Said Kawalazira: “As I am talking, we are on our way to bury the woman. This is the process to be followed when we have such a case.”
He declined to disclose the burial place and other details related to the country’s first Covid-19 death, saying his office will have a press briefing today where they will give more details on this and other related issues.
Kawalazira said relatives of the deceased have been put under surveillance.
“So far, over 1 200 people in Blantyre have been put under self-quarantine,” he said.
Last Wednesday, Ministry of Health’s director of quality management and digital health Dr Andrew Likaka said there were 4 500 people on self-quarantine nationwide.
But he admitted facing challenges tracking suspected patients, who he said could put more people at risk.
Likaka said: “We have noted that some people are giving us fake contact numbers and false addresses, among others.”
Meanwhile, LMJ Clinic in Limbe where the deceased is reported to have sought treatment, was closed to visitors yesterday.
A notice placed at the entrance stated that the closure was due to the coronavirus outbreak.
A hospital worker, who did not want to be named, said the clinic was closed yesterday and they were not certain when it would resume operations.
During The Nation‘s visit yesterday, workers at the clinic were seen with protective gear such as masks and gloves.
Efforts to speak to the clinic management were futile as they kept saying they were in a meeting.
The deceased had just returned from the United Kingdom and was the fifth to be tested positive from Covid-19.