Health experts have warned that should the citizenry not adhere to Covid-19 preventive measures, Malawi will “perish” after the deadly delta Indian variant spread. The warning comes after Malawi registered 58 new cases by close of business on Tuesday – a jump from 15 cases that were recorded on Sunday.
The results were unparalleled and unexpected as for months the country had been registering less than 20 cases in a day. The experts, Dr Gama Bandawe and Mphatso Ngulube, said every citizen had a responsibility to champion adherence to measures put in place by the government. Bandawe, a virologist, said Malawi was at the foot of the third wave of the coronavirus, and that if people continued to flout measures the country would perish.
He said, among others, that vaccinating more people could save the situation. “The most powerful and effective tool that we have in our tool box is the vaccine. We need to really step up and increase the number of vaccines,” Bandawe told ZBS in an interview.
On the other hand, Ngulube, a health expert, said the sharp rise in the new cases should be “a wake up call on all Malawians to reflect on how they are behaving in this pandemic period.”
But Malawians, including President Lazarus Chakwera, have ceaselessly defied the preventive measures as seen through political gatherings. Prior to the May by-elections, MEC had warned political parties to adhere to Covid-19 preventive measures but to no avail.
As the cases continue to proliferate, the country is experiencing shortages in the supply of the AstraZeneca doses. Ministry of Health spokesman, Joshua Malango, admitted in a media interview on Tuesday that the government was running short of the doses.
“We have so far received 512 000 doses and of those you will remember that over 19 000 were burned. As a country, we are running short of supply but we expect to get more of the doses by July,” said Malango.
Malawi has between 3 January, 2020 and 15 June, 2021, according to WHO, registered 34,564 cases of COVID-19 with 1,159 deaths.
A total of 381,257 vaccine doses have been administered, as of 14 June, 2021.