Malawi: Blantyre Impressed With Mangochi

Mangochi — Blantyre City Council (BCC) has applauded Mangochi Municipal and District Councils for containing COVID-19 effectively despite the lakeshore district being at high risk due to its high population of travelers to and from South Africa.

BCC Deputy Mayor, Councilor Joseph Makwinja, expressed his satisfaction at Mangochi Municipal Council Headquarters on Wednesday after a delegation from BCC visited Mangochi to appreciate the fight against COVID-19.

Mangochi has attained 97 per cent COVID-19 recovery with only three active cases out of 146 cumulative cases and one death.

The BCC Deputy Mayor described this achievement as "very impressive" compared to Blantyre where the number of active cases, recovery and deaths are high.

"We're very pleased that Mangochi is doing well in COVID-19 prevention and that's why we embarked on this tour to learn what is behind their success," explained Makwinja in an interview after interaction with their counterparts.

"It is very interesting to learn this when Mangochi has a lot of its people based in South Africa where COVID-19 has been rampant and one would expect more returnees in the district who would cause the figures to shoot," he added.

Makwinja said BCC would adopt some of the interventions used in Mangochi and implement them in the city to achieve similar results.

The BCC Deputy Mayor, however, observed lack of councilors' involvement in the Mangochi's District COVID-19 Rapid Response Team and he urged the authorities to fill the gap for maximum result.

"One thing I would like to advise Mangochi Council and the municipality is that they should involve the councilors in the response team because they are the ones who stay with the people in the community," explained Makwinja.

Mangochi Municipal Council Deputy Mayor, Councilor Kenneth Chimombo, described BCC's visit as a humbling gesture to the two Mangochi councils, saying it symbolised recognition of the efforts Mangochi District and Municipal councils have made.

"We are very proud to be recognised for being among outstanding councils in COVID-19 fight, but it's all because we are involving people on the ground by sensitising and urging them to report anyone returning from South Africa for surveillance," explained Chimombo.

The visiting council delegates were first briefed on COVID-19 situation in Mangochi and interventions made to arrest the spread of the pandemic.

The host later took the visiting team to a nearby ward, Ndege, within the municipality for the latter to appreciate the levels of knowledge on the pandemic among members of the community.

According to Blantyre District Health Office's September 14 COVID-19 update, the district, as a whole, has cumulatively recorded 1,827 cases, 75 deaths, 673 active cases and 1,079 recoveries

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