The Ministry of Health has asked community members to ensure that people who tested positive for coronavirus and their primary contacts are complying with self-quarantine.
The call follows The Nation findings that some people who have tested positive and their contacts—who are supposed to self-quarantine—are mingling in public places, a development which health rights activist George Jobe says threatens the further spread of the virus.
In an interview on Wednesday, the ministry spokesperson Joshua Malango noted that it is the responsibility of community members to check if the affected people comply with self-quarantine order.
He said: “Communities have a role to play. Report such cases to health authorities and law enforcement agents. If not complying with self-quarantine, then institutional quarantine is mandatory.”
On his part Jobe, who is also Malawi Health Equity Network executive director, feared that defying self-quarantine poses a threat for the further spread of the pandemic.
He echoed Malango’s sentiments that community members should play a role to check if their members are complying with self-isolation as directed.
Said Jobe: “Looking at the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country, health personnel alone cannot win this fight. There is need for collaboration by engaging community-based groups to check if members in the self-isolation are complying.”
As of Tuesday, Malawi had registered over 1 877 cases, surpassing all its neighbouring countries like Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique which first registered coronavirus cases.
Out of the cases, 24 people died while about 345 have so far recovered.