By Mary Makhiringa
Balaka, June 29, Mana: Health Promotion Officer (HPO) for Balaka, Mercy Nyirenda on Monday disclosed to Malawi News Agency (Mana) that the district has registered the first coronavirus (Covid-19) death since the first case was identified in the country a couple of months ago.
Nyirenda said the deceased was admitted to Balaka District Hospital on Sunday and samples were taken but died last night when results were not out.
“Yesterday we had a suspect admitted who was confirmed positive last night, but she also had other health related issues such as diabetes and had difficulties in breathing, unfortunately we lost her last night,” she said.
“The testing was done at our district hospital laboratory and the tests came out positive, as per protocol we will send the samples again to DREAM Lab for confirmation. Regardless of this, we are handling the body as infectious and all protocols of infection prevention are being followed,” Nyirenda added.
Nyirenda said all district staff members who were on day and night duty will be put on quarantine and that the plan was to discharge patients from the male and female wards for the units to be disinfected.
She further told Mana that the patients from the affected wards will be transferred to the nutrition and rehabilitation unit for continued care, noting that the disinfected wards would be ready for use in 48 hours.
Meanwhile, the body of the 64-year-old woman is expected to be buried today morning at Chiendausiku in Mterela Village. According to Nyirenda, communities and local leaders have already been informed about the arrangement.
With the latest development, Balaka has 18 confirmed Covid-19 cases per national public health document but the health office has managed to trace 13 cases.