Phuka concerned that Coronavirus preventive measures are not being followed

…Says people should not pay for Covid-19 tests in public facilities

Co-chairperson of the Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus John Phuka says the likely reason for high transmission of Covid-19 in workplaces is that preventive measures are not being followed.

Phuka said this in a situtation report for July 17.

He noted that there is an increase of clusters of Covid-19 identified by contact tracing within workplaces/business premises in the country.

Some of the workplaces such as Malawi Parliament and National Bank of Malawi Chichiri branch have closed and others have suspended the services to allow for disinfection of the premises.

In other workplaces or sections they have great number of staff confirmed positive that are negatively affecting smooth operation of services.

“This shows that there is likely high transmission within workplaces or institutions.

“The most likely reason is that we are not using face masks, nor continuing to clean our hands frequently inside the building after washing hands at point of entry, nor maintaining at least 1 metre social distance inside the workplace buildings.

“The risk of exposure to Covid-19 in the workplace depends how often people get within 1 metre of each other, in having frequent physical contact with people who may be infected with Covid-19, and through contact with contaminated surfaces and objects,” he said.

Phuka then urged all employers, employees and customers/clients to strictly observe all preventive measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission at workplaces/business premises.

Some of the measures include frequent hand-washing with soap or disinfection with alcohol based hand sanitizer, respiratory hygiene such as covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing and physical distancing of at least 1 metre.

Other measures include wearing of masks, regular environmental cleaning and disinfection and limiting unnecessary travel.

Phuka has also urged employers to develop policies and messages on Covid-19, train staff and managers to increase awareness of Covid-19, and request workers who are unwell or who develop symptoms to stay at home.

Phuka in the statement also advised Malawians that Covid-19 testing is a free service in all public facilities.

“The public is encouraged to report to the authorities once they are being asked to pay for Covid-19 services in a public facility,” he said.

Malawi has recorded 2,810 Coronavirus cases including 55 deaths. There have also been 1,111 recoveries.

Out of the cases, 861 are imported infections and 1,949 are locally transmitted.

The country has so far conducted 23,230 Covid-19 tests in 39twsting site.