First Lady Monica Chakwera has said she is saddened with rising numbers of people contracting Covid-19, the strands for coronavirus pandemic in the country.
Madam Chakwera said there is great need for Malawians to take precaution measures; like washing hands, social distancing and face covering to prevent the spread of the contagion.
She was speaking at the presidential palace in Lilongwe when China presented a donation of medical materials to help Malawi in the fight against the virus pandemic.
The donation consisting of thermometers and face masks was presented at Kamuzu Palace on Tuesday through the First Lady.
The First Lady said she was “grateful” to China for the gesture which she said will go a long way in the fight against the pandemic.
She said the donation, which is targeting mothers, the youth and health workers, has come at a right time and appealed to the beneficiaries to use the materials for their intended purpose if the fight against the pandemic is to materialise.
Malawi is currently facing a surge in cases, partially because of the winter season, which health experts say provides fertile ground for the coronavirus.
The surge is also attributed to a failure to control crowds during recent election campaign rallies and a return of migrant workers from South Africa.
Malawi has confirmed close to 4 000 cases including almost 103 deaths. Officials say more than 700 of these cases have come from abroad, while 1,000 others have originated locally.
The country with a population of 18 million people has tested about 19,000 people in its 39 testing centres.
Chinese ambassador to Malawi, Liu Hongyang, said China has been closely following Covid-19 situation in Malawi hence the donation.
“We have been observing the situation in Malawi and decided to team up in the fight against the pandemic by donating the materials which will help mothers and youths play a role in the fight against the pandemic,” he said.
He said his government is considering more donation to Malawi Government to accelerate the fight against the pandemic.
Among others, Ambassador Liu said China is bringing to Malawi a team of medical experts that would team up with their Malawian counterparts to advance the fight against the pandemic.
Minister of Health Khumbize Chiponda hailed the donation.
“The first stage in COVID-19 testing is screening hence the thermometers will go a long way in ensuring that screening is done at all levels whereas face masks are needed for prevention,” she said.
Earlier this year a Chinese citizen Jack Ma donated similar equipment to African countries including Malawi.