The Malawi Parliamentary Committee on Health and Population has commended the People’s Republic of China for the efforts it has, so far, put in place in curbing the spread of the deadly Coronavirus and the good news of a vaccine in the offing.
The Committee has, however, recommended the monitoring of business travel to and from China and further encouraging Malawians to follow the health and safety guidelines provided by international health agencies such as the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO).
This is contained in a press statement the committee issued on Sunday morning, February 8 2020, with financial support from Plan International Malawi and World Vision and made available to Nyasa Times.
“The committee places tremendous value and focus on the well-being and safety of Malawians. We commend the People’s Republic of China for the efforts it has, so far, put in curbing the spread of the virus and the good news of a vaccine in the offing.
We therefore recommend monitoring of business travel to and from China until further notice.
The committee is encouraging Malawians to follow the health and safety guidelines provided by international health agencies such as the CDC and WHO,” the statement, signed by the committee chairperson Dr. Matthews Ngwale, reads in part.
The statement comes in the wake of the 2019 Novel Coronaviruses (nCoV), reported in China and other Asian countries that have confirmed cases.
Ngwale says his committee rallies behind the Government of Malawi and appreciates the technical support from World Health Organisation (WHO) to ensure the country adopts the right standards for prevention, detection and referral for treatment of suspected cases.
He further urges Malawians to seek timely medical help, and cooperate with health officials during screening procedures across our ports of entry.
“The possibility of cases being identified in other countries was not unexpected, and reinforces why WHO calls for on-going active monitoring and preparedness in other countries, including Malawi. We urge the Government and its stakeholders to religiously follow the WHO guidance on how to detect and treat persons ill with the new virus,” says the committee.
In the statement, the Health and Population Parliamentary Committee undertakes to continue offering oversight towards implementation of measures and calls for expediency in assessment of state of readiness of our country in mitigation, detection and case management should an outbreak happen; screening at strategic points especially all ports of entry into Malawi and capacity building of health workers and structures of government on appropriate standards for screening and case management.
The committee further commits itself to offering regular awareness raising to the citizens of Malawi on the disease and how it is contacted and public health practices to mitigate infection and spreading the virus.
Coronavirus is a group of common viruses. The Coronaviruses can spread in the following ways such as coughing and sneezing without covering the mouth can disperse droplets into the air, spreading the virus, touching or shaking hands with a person that has the virus can pass the virus from one person to another.
The virus can also spread through making contact with a surface or object that has the virus and then touching your nose, eyes, or mouth. And on rare occasions, a coronavirus may spread through contact with feces.
Hence, the Malawi Parliamentary Committee on Health and Population says Malawi, as a country, needs to be on alert now and needs to take action and be ready for any cases that come — either from the original epicenter or from other epicenters that become established.
The Chinese Embassy in Malawi had not yet received the statement; hence, a senior official at the embassy, Cui Jianfeng, assured that his office will give its comments after studying the statement.