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Analysts Caution as COVID-19 Cases Surge in SA

Matemba - Malawi has to be ready to contain them Matemba - Malawi has to be ready to contain them - file photo

The 30 percent surge of COVID-19 cases in South Africa (SA) in the third wave has raised a red flag among local health rights activists in Malawi given the relationship of the two nations on cross border trade and labor force.

The World Health Organization (WHO) dashboard registered 4, 519 new positive cases and 70 new COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours in South Africa, compounding fears of the trend spilling to Malawi.

One of the activists, Maziko Matemba, said looking at COVID-19 history in Malawi, most cases were imported from SA and as such Malawi has to be ready to contain them.

“We need to be stricter now in our borders as we are receiving fellow Malawians from the rainbow nation; otherwise, we may be hit by the third wave,” said Matemba. 

Another health rights advocate, George Jobe, said Government should intensify border patrol surveillance and not rely on issued COVID-19 certificates which may be doctored.

“As the situation is now, institutional quarantine is the best way to go for the returnees and any other immigrant; otherwise, self-isolation has failed most people,” said Jobe.

On her part health expert, Professor Maureen Chirwa is advising the government to put its attention on prevention.

“It is important to invest in public health like broadcasting prevention programs on radios and televisions and not only putting attention to medical models,” said Professor Chirwa.

Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandondo Chponda, said she will comment on the matter later.  

But a daily COVID-19 situation released on Monday, 31st May, 2021 says special COVID-19 clearance is undertaken at Mwanza border post before admitting all returnees into the country.

On Sunday evening, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, reacting to increasing cases COVID-19 in his country, announced an adjustment of lockdown from level one to two with reduction on the number gatherings and operations of shops and entertainment joints.

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