President Peter Mutharika has confirmed the first cases of the coronavirus in Malawi.
Mutharika confirmed three cases in his address to the nation from Sanjika Palace in Blantyre on Thursday evening
According to Mutharika, the confirmed cases are a Malawian of Asian origin who travelled to India, her relative and their maid.
“We now have three confirmed cases of coronavirus Malawi. The first affected case is a female from Lilongwe who had recently returned from India. She was in self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Malawi but later became symptomatic.
“The second case is a relative to the index patient while the third case is a domestic worker in their household,” said Mutharika.
He added that the government is providing initial care and medical management for the three cases.
“We are also tracing all close contacts and requiring them to go into quarantine for 14 days where they can be observed,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika then advised Malawians to observe social distancing (not less than one metre apart, wash hands with soap and avoid coughing or sneezing into one’s hands.
The President added that he will announce more preventive measures soon in view of the confirmed cases. He also urged Malawians not to panic.
Coronavirus started in China last year and has spread to over 200 countries worldwide. Over 950,000 cases and more than 48,000 deaths have been recorded.