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No Covid-19 Case At Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa

By Tiyanjane Mambucha, MANA

File Photo: Dzaleka Refuge Camp in Dowa, Malawi

District Commissioner (DC) for Dowa, Alex Mdooka, has said he was disturbed with fake rumours going around on social media claiming that a nine year old, Burundian girl was confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19 at Dzaleka camp in the district.

He condemned in strongest terms those behind fabricating the false news, as not wishing the district well.

Denying that Dowa has not registered any COVID- 19 case besides hosting refugees and asylum seekers at the camp in the district.

Mdooka is advising those behind the misconduct to stop forthwith, adding that refugees and asylum seekers are brothers and sisters and above all, citizens of the district.

Speaking during a District Response Committee meeting on COVID-19 held at the Boma, the DC advised anyone seeking informationto always verify with the Council, for correct information.

He said putting the public under panicwould only worsen the situation, as the Covid-19 issue was a serious one.

“Rumours have to be verified for one to come up with a balanced story. Verification with the authorities will give the public the rightful information,” Mdooka said.

The DC asked all stakeholders in the district not to be in the forefront fabricating fake news, that refugees are the ones suspected to be importing COVID- 19 cases in the country saying Coronavirus was a global crisis devastating countries including Malawi.

Director Health and Social Service (DHSS) for Dowa, Dr. Peter Makoza, dismissed the news in circulation as fake.

He said the news was aimed at bringing fear, stigma and panic amongst the refugees and asylum seekers at Dzaleka camp, the host’s communities and the county as a whole.

Dr. Makoza said as soon as his office was awareof the news, the District Rapid Response Team led by the District Medical Officer (DMO), Dr. Kanjadza rushed to Dzaleka camp in the company of Police.

He said they checked not only on the said girl but another 20 year- old suspect who came from South Africa sometime back, but his case was totally not COVID-19 related.

Makoza said the suspect in the picture used in the news in circulation was taken in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during the time of Ebola outbreak.

“We have white isolated gown and in the picture, yellow, this mean that the story is fake and it is not for Dzaleka camp,” the said DHSS.

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