Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo has asked chiefs and community leaders to be vigilant in the fight against Covid-19 despite new registered cases being on the decline.
The minister made the call in an interview yesterday on the sidelines of a half-day Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 meeting with chiefs and faith community representatives in Lilongwe.
She observed that the number of new cases has been dropping for the past few weeks, but cautioned this should not prompt chiefs and faith leaders to relax in the fight against the pandemic that has since killed 174 people in the country.
Said Kandodo: “The situation has painted a rosy picture as we have been having reduced cases. But we do not need to relax but to keep fighting against it.”
The minister said the committee engaged chiefs and faith community leaders, drawn from various districts nationwide, to brainstorm on how best to prevent the further spread of Covid-19 at grassroots level.
On his part, Senior Chief Ndindi of Salima said local leaders have committed themselves to help government in the fight against the pandemic. He said they have introduced by-laws in line with Covid-19 gazzetted regulations although bars and markets are difficult for them to control.
He said: “As chiefs, we have been fighting the pandemic and we recently introduced some by-laws. We do not allow people to sleep at a funeral and we ensure that burial of a dead person who was infected with Covid-19 should be done not later than 12pm.”
Evangelical Association of Malawi deputy general secretary the Reverend Grey Mwalabu said the decline in cases will not force the faith community to relent in the fight against Covid-19.
In recent weeks, new cases have significantly reduced from a double to a single digit. The country has, as of yesterday, recorded 5 566 cases since registering the first three cases on April 2 this year.