The Ministry of Health has confirmed five new coronavirus cases in Lilongwe, and now Malawi’s tally is 23.
Speaking at a press briefing in Blantyre today, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dan Namarika said one of the cases returned from India recently and lives at Area 3.
He added that four of the new cases are immediate contacts of a person based at Kaliyeka in Lilongwe who was confirmed as a coronavirus patient on Monday after returning from Tanzania.
He added that one of the contacts who has tested positive stays at Area 25 while the others live at Kaliyeka. The Ministry is also tracking 17 other people.
“These cases are concerning because they are from Kaliyeka which is a high density area. In terms of tracing, our tracking will now be broader,” said Namarika.
He then noted that the Kuunika model the ministry is using has projected that, if business in Malawi goes on as it is currently, 16 million will be affected by the coronavirus in one year and 483,000 would require hospitalization.
“Lilongwe will be affected the most with 1.5 million infections and 5,000 deaths,” said Namarika.
He added that the impact may be reduced by 75 percent if necessary interventions, such as reducing movement and gatherings, are implemented.
According to Namarika, because of the rapid spread of coronavirus the systems may not be ready to handle the Covid-19 if it affects many people.
‘We are at war with the virus. It is up to us to choose life. We have an opportunity now to control the disease. But if we don’t, the disease will control us and the battle will be difficult.,” said Namarika.