Malawi doctors say mass gatherings can continue

The Medical Doctors Society of Malawi says banning mass gathering in Malawi due to the coronavirus outbreak is premature at this stage.

The society’s president Dr. Amos Nyaka has told Zodiak Broadcasting Station that restrictions on public gatherings will be necessary when countries that share borders with Malawi record local transmissions – meaning the person suffering from COVID-19 got the virus locally.

“I think at this stage, it is premature to start restricting such gatherings now,” he said.

According to Dr. Nyaka, most of the countries that have banned the gatherings are going through local transmission of the virus.

On his part, Chief of Health Services in the Ministry of Health and Population, Dr. Charles Mwansambo said the preventive measures that the country has put in place are enough at the moment.

He said the interventions – which include self-isolation for persons arriving in Malawi from countries affected by the coronavirus – are working since the Ministry is monitoring up to 120 people.

“We are hoping that the interventions we have put in place are sufficing now,” he said.

He, however, warned that Malawi should be prepared for the time when the country’s first case of COVID-19 will be recorded.

More than 4,600 people have died and more than 126,000 COVID-19 cases have been recorded globally.

In South Africa where there are hundreds of Malawians, 61 cases have been confirmed and the government has since banned gatherings of more than 100 people.

On Monday, Tanzania, which shares a border with Malawi confirmed its first case of the coronavirus.