Malawi Records Spike in COVID-19 Cases - Count Jumps By 102 to 203

Malawi has registered 102 new cases of Covid-19, the strands for coronavirus pandemic, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 203, the Presidential Taskforce has disclosed.

Dr John Phuka: Co-chair of the presidential task force

Co-chairperson of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, Dr. John Phuka said the cases were recorded on 25 and 26 May.

He said the 92 positive cases were registered from those who just came into the country through the South African buses.

Seven positive cases have been confirmed from samples that were collected from truck drivers and other travelers at Mwanza border while three other positive cases have also been confirmed in Lilongwe- the hot spot for the virus pandemic.

The spike in the Covid-19 cases comes after over 400 Malawians who recently returned from South Africa -- the continent's hardest-hit country in the pandemic -- fled from a coronavirus quarantine site in Blantyre , sparking criticism of lax government measures and fears of a potential outbreak.

The incident came just a day after eight people who had tested positive for COVID-19 fled from an isolation center in Blantyre.

A health rights activist Dorothy Ngoma told Nyasa Times that the escape of such a large number of potential virus carriers was extremely worrying and puts all of Malawi -- which has 101 cases and four deaths so far -- at even greater risk.

However, she added, it was not entirely unexpected, given the poor planning and management displayed by the government.

Coronavirus cases are increasing at an alarming rate all across Africa, with more than 5,000 confirmed on Thursday, the continent's highest single-day spike to date.

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