Health professionals and an activist have commended Vice-President Saulos Chilima and former Karonga Central legislator Frank Mwenifumbo for publicly declaring their status after going for coronavirus test.
In an interview yesterday, Malawi Health Equity Network (Mhen) executive director George Jobe said the declaration that Chilima and his wife Mary tested negative and Mwenifumbo tested positive would motivate most Malawians to go for coronavirus test.
He said: “It is a welcome development because people will now start to trust figures [of coronavirus cases] and health workers because honourable Mwenifumbo is at a public hospital. Some Malawians were still doubting about the coronavirus cases.”
But in a separate interview, Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 co-chairperson Dr. John Phuka, while refusing to specifically comment on Chilima and Mwenifumbo’s declaration of their statuses, said that when leaders come out in the open, it becomes easy for all to appreciate the disease.
He said: “Maybe we had anxiety or fear and we begin to see somebody we know it helps to remove anxiety. It’s a very strong education stage when leaders join and demonstrate that you can do this.
“When leaders do that voluntarily, they will also help us on what are the important messages we should always use to make sure that we prevent, because prevention is a major weapon to fight against Covid-19.”
Both Chilima and Mwenifumbo asked Malawians to go for coronavirus test to help in the fight of the further spread of the pandemic.
Chilima observed that the surge in the Covid-19 cases in the country was alarming and frightening. He called upon Malawians to unite in fighting the disease.