Malawi: Test, Test, Test - Malawi Urged to Step Up COVID-19 Testing

13 April 2020

Malawi government is coming under growing pressure to increase the rate of testing for coronavirus, as the country reported its 13th case of the virus pandemic which has so far claimed two lives in the country and two of its citizens in UK.

Health experts calls for more testing as concerns grow that the number of coronavirus cases in Malawi could be higher than reported.

The World Health Organization director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has tipped countries on how to deal with the coronavirus outbreak sweeping the globe: 'Test, test, test.'

He urged countries to test more suspected cases, warning that they "cannot fight a fire blindfolded."

WHO's director general said:"You can't fight a virus if you don't know where it is."

He added: "Find, isolate, test and treat every case to break the chains of Covid transmission. Every case we find and treat limits the expansion of the disease."

There are concerns that few people are being tested of the virus in Malawi.

Government has since opened another testing labarotary at Mzuzu Central Hospital to cater for the northern region with similar centres in Blantyre and Lilongwe.

According to Minister of Health Jappie Mhango, to date 272 contact of the Covid-19 cases have been traced.

However, it is only 76 contacts who have been tested.

Commentators say this is "scary", especially when one factors in the fact that Malawi has 6 904 high-risk travellers who entered the country through formal borders to date.

Doctors have tipped the Ministry of Health to use even small labs across the country including biology department in universities which can use common pieces of equipment to test for the virus.

More From: Nyasa Times

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