As countries world over continue battling the novel Coronavirus, the high demand for test kits is outstripping production capacities; a development which has led to their being rationed.
According to Ministry of Health Principal Secretary Dr. Charles Mwansambo, this has lead to a global shortage of reagents and test kits in the COVID-19 response.
He disclosed that 30,000 Coronavirus testing kits ordered from the Global Fund will be in Malawi by 29th September, this year.
However Mwansambo said it remains unclear when the consignments from the World Bank and other partners will be in hence only those showing symptoms and are visibly sick will be the ones to be tested.
"There is a global shortage of these reagents these test kits they're being rationed. At present we are also expecting 20, 000 more from the World Bank and then some through UNICEF as well
“So the others we haven’t gotten them yet, but we are definite that this supply that we’re getting through the Global fund will be arriving in the country on the 29th September” disclosed Mwansambo
The Principal Secretary feared the re-opening of schools and airports could push the need for more COVID-19 kits.
As of 6th September, statistics show that Malawi has registered three new cases, no new recoveries, and no new deaths.
All the new cases were identified at the Mwanza border during routine screening. They are truck drivers (two Mozambicans and one Malawian) who were heading to Blantyre.
Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 5,614 cases including 175 deaths. Of these cases, 1,133 are imported infections and 4,481 are locally transmitted.
About 3,551 people have now recovered bringing the total number of active cases to 1,888.
With schools re-opening through a phased approach from 7th September, parents, learners and teachers are being reminded on the need to ensure that sick learners, teachers and other staff should not come to school, enforcement of regular hand washing with water and soap or chlorine solution.
CO-Chairperson of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 Dr. John Phuka, advised on the need to practise cough and sneeze etiquette, frequent health education sessions to learners on the prevention of the disease and monitoring school attendance to track learner and staff absenteeism in relation to usual school absenteeism patterns.