World Health Organization (WHO) and United States of America Center for Disease Control (CDC) say the COVID-19 laboratory tests being conducted in the country are accurate and the results should be trusted.
WHO Country representative Rosemary Dlamini and CDC country director Andrew Auld held a joint press briefing in Lilongwe on Friday where they certified the results.
In her remarks, Dlamini said WHO is supporting Malawi’s laboratory services where qualified personnel conduct the tests.
She added that WHO will continue supporting the Ministry of Health in the COVID-19 response by among others training health workers.
She then called on Malawians to take the disease seriously and adhere to the preventive measures such as social distancing and washing hands with soap.
On his part, CDC’s Auld said the centre has been making sure that the test kits that are being used to test people in the country are of good quality so that the results they give should be genuine.
Currently Malawi has recorded 33 cases of COVID-19, three recoveries and three.
During the press briefing, Minister of Health Jappie Mhango urged employers to allow employees to work from home saying the spread of COVID-19 has serious implications for employers, employees and workspaces where there is frequent human contact.
He added that both employees and employers should also observe the precautionary measures frequently when at their workplaces to prevent the further spread of the disease.
“All the employers should abide by the guidelines with immediate effect,” he said.
Was the press conference organised by CDC and WHO or by the government? What was the main purpose of this press conference?
Does it mean that when the tests are being conducted at the Coronavirus labs across the country CDC and WHO send their representatives to monitor the tests? If not what evidence do they have that the test samples indeed came from the said 33 people who the government claims have tested positive including the 10 from Kaliyeka? Bear in mind that it the said Kaliyeka relatives who were on Zodiac the other day denying that they were tested.
If the press conference was arranged by the government then it means that CDC and WHO representatives were just invited to bear witness to the authenticity of the test results that they have not been part of when they were being carried out in the lab and the question is, what was the motive of the government in this press briefing?
The government should not abuse its powers to twist the arm of these organisations to back their story in order to scare people in this country.
First of all it is important to understand that the coronavirus test is not easy or bulletproof. For example the UK announced this week that the coronavirus tests kits they have been using which I believe are the same as the ones used in Malawi are only 70% accurate. Which means 30% of the test results in the UK have been false and this is why it is important to repeat the tests a few times before rushing to tell the nation how many positive tests you have…. just because you just want to scare people to accept the much needed lockdown to avoid the July election.
The other point I would to make is on the so much talked about lockdown, the problem we have in Africa is that our leaders like to copy things from the western world without really understanding the reason why.
For example, in the UK and most European countries, the lock down was implemented in order to slow down the spread of the coronavirus so that the hospitals can cope in the short term while on the other hand the government was increasing capacity of the intensive care beds.
Lockdowns are not a solution to completely stop Coronavirus or the covid 19 disease, that is impossible because we still have open borders not to mention the porous borders which we can never manage to seal. Lockdown is just a measure to slow down the spread so that the government can increase capacity in our hospitals but there is a massive trade of with the economy.
Now if the Malawi government want to implement a lockdown they should tell the nation exactly what they want to achieve during that lockdown. Because with the lock down there are dare economic consequences that should be taken into account as the western world has realised.
You can see that most European countries are now ending their lockdowns although they still have tens of thousands of covid 19 cases because their economies can not cope any longer, they are collapsing. Now Malawian leaders want to implement a lockdown while we only have 33 cases, and the question I have for them is this, what exactly do you want to achieve and what is your exist strategy out of the lockdown? 40% of our economy depends on donors who are now suffering from the impact of covid 19, if you lockdown the country have you done your calculations to understand the impact to the economy and have you figured out how you will recover from if without donors?
For Malawi the lockdown is worse than the disease itself, what we need is to encourage social distancing, hand washing, and most importantly testing and contact tracing and then quarantine and treatment for those testing positive.
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