The World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative in Malawi Nonlanlha Rosemary Dlamini has emphasized the need for Malawians to observe preventative methods on coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19).
Dlamini made the remarks to members of the press at her office in Lilongwe where she said people are still getting it wrong on what Covid-19 is.
“I know that there are no reported cases in Malawi yet on the virus, but all our neighbours have reported cases. We need to intensify prevention measures, observe washing hands, coughing etiquette, social distancing and seeking early medication when you have flu-like symptoms. If you have flu it is better not to go to work,” she said.
She urged people to just follow WHO and Ministry of Health guidelines and advice.
“The disease is not airborne so there is need for people to use the right type of masks than what they are doing now as the right masks to use are N95,” said Dlamini.
She has since said companies must observe their Business Continuity Plans (BCP) if they are to put people on teleworking or working from home, saying currently in Malawi WHO offices BCP hasn’t reached a point where they can work from home.
As the possibility of coronavirus reaching Malawi is becoming obvious, President Peter Mutharika on Friday banned public gatherings and ordered closure of schools as part of drastic measures to cut the spread.
These restrictions apply to all gatherings including weddings, funerals, church, congregations, rallies and government meetings.
The coronavirus was first reported in the city of Wuhan in China on 31 December 2019.
Within the past three months, the virus has spread at a fast rate in Europe, Canada, the United States and Africa.
Some of the affected African countries are within Malawi’s proximity such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania.
The pandemic has so far claimed around 13 000 lives and over 300 000 have been confirmed infected globally.
Covid-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new virus.
The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty in breathing. One can protect himself or herself by washing hands frequently, avoiding touching one’s face and avoiding close contact with people who are unwell by staying at least one metre away from them.