Society of Medical Doctors president Victor Mithi yesterday said Malawi has a lot of work to prove to the international community that it has the ability to control the further spread of Covid-19.
The sentiments follow United States of America Centres for Disease Control (CDC) advisory which designates Malawi as a high risk country.
In the advisory released last week, CDC placed Malawi on a high Level 4, and warned people against travelling to the country.
It further said if travel is necessary, individuals must make sure they are fully vaccinated.
“Because of the current situation in Malawi, even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk of getting and spreading Covid-19 variants,” reads in part the advisory.
In an interview yesterday, Mithi said the restrictions placed by CDC will have negative consequences because they might bring a sense of fear in people and stifle some economic sectors.
He said: “We are in this situation because we are not doing enough in following the prevention measures.
“Even if government has put restrictions, it is in vain because communities are not following them. There is a lot of work to do now.”
University of Malawi economics lecturer Exley Silumbu yesterday concurred with Mithi that the country’s hospitality sector will be the hardest hit with the CDC advisory because it has not yet recovered from previous Covid-19 measures.
“This is adding salt on the wounds because tourists from United States will now be restricted to travel to Malawi,” he said.
However, Malawi Tourism Council vice-board chairperson Innocent Kaliati said CDC’s declaration is of Malawi’s own making.
He said: “In as much as it is alarming and damaging to the country, this is emanating from our own actions, including closing our borders earlier without considering other options.”
Kaliati said government sent wrong signals to the international community.
Since the start of the pandemic’s third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the infection rate has reached 22 percent, up about two percent in May.
The country has recorded 1 250 deaths cumulatively since the first case was reported in April last year, representing a case fatality rate of 3.19 percent.
Last week, Minister of Health Khumbidze Kandodo Chiponda announced strict Covid-19 preventive measures to curb further spread of the novel virus.
The restrictions include a ban on political rallies, no fans at stadiums for sport games, no gatherings of more than 50 people, and a curfew from 10pm to 6am.
Statistics from the Ministry of Health released yesterday show that for the previous 24 hours, Malawi confirmed 232 new Covid-19 cases and six deaths.