Two people have reportedly been put in isolation as Malawi scales up screening measures against the global Coronavirus outbreak. The two people – a Chinese national and Malawian student based in China – are being monitored by health authorities as part of tighter controls at Malawi’s main points of entry.
It is reported that the Chinese national, whose details we are yet to confirm, travelled from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the Coronavirus.
The Secretary for Health Dr. Dan Namarika , Ministry of Health Spokesperson and vehicles from the Ministry of Health were spotted touring the Airport where the health authorities have stepped up screening efforts following our report exposing some lapses at the arrival terminals.
Our Friday report exposed how some health officials were caught napping on duty after they abandoned work for lunch, leaving incoming passengers unchecked.
Our sources said the Malawian travelling from China arrived in the country through Ethiopian Airlines, while the Chinese national arrived on a South African Airways plane.
Health Authorities were seen at the Airport dressed in protective gear to welcome him.
We understand the two will be the first to be placed on isolation for observation.
However, Ministry of Health Spokesperson Joshua Malango confirmed the scaling up of health security, adding that all travelers will be quarantined for thorough tests before being allowed to proceed to their final destinations.
“We now require that all people that had been to China should be observed for a period under 14 days to see if they don’t have the virus,” said Malango, declining to shed light on the Chinese national.
Malango has, however, confirmed that a Malawian student in China has been placed in isolation.
“We have implemented new regulations. The regulations make it mandatory to put on observation anyone traveling from China. But I can not confirm on a case-by-case basis for now,” he told iHubOnline Sunday afternoon.
He said the ministry has since beefed up staff at all arrival terminals to help track potential suspects.
iHubOnline understands that the health ministry has established an 8-bed quarantine facility at the airport.
“We now have staff at all arrival terminals at Kamuzu International Airport. We have also briefed the deployed officials on how they should operate with regards to prevention of the Coronavirus in Malawi,” said Malango.
Coronavirus is a group of viruses that cause several types of respiratory disease, such as MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).
The current outbreak, which began in the Chinese province of Wuhan in December, is a novel strain, dubbed 2019-nCoV.