Stakeholders have described measures being undertaken to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus, code-named Covid-19, as effective.
Ministry of Health has since assured citizens that people entering the country from affected countries such as China are being put under “self-quarantine” where they are under observation by health personnel on a daily basis.
The ministry’s spokesperson Joshua Malango said in an interview yesterday that upon arrival at the airport, people from affected countries are screened and escorted to their respective homes by ministry officials.
He said: “The purpose of the visit is to establish where these people will be staying so that health workers can easily follow up on them.”
Meanwhile, Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) executive director George Jobe has reiterated the ministry’s sentiments, saying that only those being put under observation are people who are not showing any signs of infection.
He said: “It would be dangerous to let those showing signs free to mingle with their friends and family.”
Jobe said Mhen already raised a concern over the issue through a Health Cluster Committee, to which Mhen is a member, and that the ministry assured that anyone who shows signs of infection will be quarantined.
“In case of anyone showing signs of infection, we were told that they will be put under quarantine. Actually, there are special rooms for quarantining suspected individuals at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA), Chileka International Airport and also at Mwanza and Mchinji borders,” he said.
So far, none of the 50 people who have arrived from China through KIA and 10 through Chileka International Airport has displayed signs of infection. Although there has not been an official call from the Chinese Government to ban the issuance of visa for people traveling to China, traffic between Malawi and China has generally reduced.
But Lu Chang, speaking on behalf of the Chinese Embassy, said there is no travel ban to China.
He said: “We have not received any communication from headquarters to stop issuing visas.”
Chinese Ambassador Liu Hongyang recently held a press briefing where he said defeating the virus lies in collective efforts where all countries who exchange traffic with China are expected to play a role in ensuring that there are no continued infections.