Blantyre Covid-19 Positive Health Workers Shunning Quarantine

By Loness Gwazanga

Two Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) workers who recently tested positive to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) are refusing institutional quarantine, Malawi News Agency (Mana) has established.

Senior Medical Officer for Blantyre DHO, Dr. Atusaye Mughogho told the press on Wednesday that the two have young children that cannot stay with a caretaker only for two weeks.

Mughogho, therefore, said the DHO was still negotiating with the health workers so that they are isolated until another test is done and is proven negative.

“Institutional isolation is proving difficult because the health workers are reluctant.

One of them has a two-year old child that cannot be left with a nanny for the fourteen day quarantine period,” she said.

The other one is a bread winner and lives with little kids that are two and eight years respectively, according to Mughogho.

“In this case, much as we want to take care of the masses out there, we also need to consider the bond that is there between the workers and their families,” said Mughogho.

“We have so far done an immediate inspection of their homes to see if there is no danger of transmitting the disease to other family members and possibility of self-isolation.

Their immediate contacts, including the family members have also been tested and have come out negative,” she added.

Since the pandemic came into existence, the district has screened 792 people of which 391 are health workers and seven of them tested positive.  So far, Blantyre has recorded 18 Covid-19 cases.

In addition, the office is currently on a mop-up exercise in Mpingwe and Limbe as 98 percent of the confirmed cases came from the stated areas. 

Meanwhile, the district has established two more testing laboratories at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and Dream Centre, taking the total number to four.

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