Malawi MP Mwase Tests COVID-19 Positive - Deputy Clerk of Parliament Death 'Not Virus Related'

Member of Parliament for Nkhata Bay North West Constituency Julius Chione Mwase has been diagnosed with coronavirus, the National Assembly has confirmed.

Chione Mwase, a member of the now opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), has become the first legislator with Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, to be hospitalised.

According to a statement from Parliament, Chione Mwase was being treated at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital while his close relations have been quarantined.

Mwase shared his tests results to fellow MPs chat group online.

"I just wanted to share with you that I have been tested positive of Covid-19. Now I have been admitted at Queens Elizabeth Hospital. Pray for me if I don't make it we shall meet in heaven," said Mwase.

He urged his fellow legislators whom he has been in contact with to go and have a test.

Malawi's Parliament has since urged its members to get tested for the coronavirus amid growing fears about the impact the outbreak will have on the country.

"Following the development, Parliament is urging all Honourable Members, staff and their close family relations to go for voluntary testing," said the statement.

Malawi's Parliament has 193 members, with an average household size of six it means; at least 1,000 people will have to get tested.

The House rose on June 30 just after the new Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu had presented a provisional budget.

Earlier calls by the Speaker to limit the number of MPs in the chamber to 100 on account of Covid-19 were ignored by most Parliamentarians.

Meanwhile, the office of the Speaker has announced the death of deputy clerk of Parliament Henry Njoloma at MASM's Area 12 clinic in Lilongwe on Monday.

But Parliament has quashed rumours that he had died of the coronavirus disease.

"According to hospital records, the cause of death is not related to COVID-19," said the Clerk of Parliament.

The late Njoloma will be laid to rest on Wednesday in Mchinji.

Malawi's Covid-19 cases have been sharply rising over the past two weeks and they now stand at 1,818 including 19 deaths.

Vice-President Saulos Chilima and former Karonga Central legislator Frank Mwenifumbo have publicly declared their status after going for coronavirus test.

Chilima and his wife Mary tested negative and Mwenifumbo tested positive.

Both Chilima and Mwenifumbo asked Malawians to go for coronavirus test to help in the fight of the further spread of the pandemic.

Chilima observed that the surge in the Covid-19 cases in the country was alarming and frightening. He called upon Malawians to unite in fighting the disease.

More From: Nyasa Times

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