By Yamikani Yapuwa

Blantyre, March 10, Mana: Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) has refuted social media speculations which cited a confirmed coronavirus (COVID19) case in the district.

On Monday, the social media was awash with speculations of a confirmed COVID 19 case at Mwaiwathu Private Hospital in Blantyre.

Blantyre DHO Director of Health and Social Services, Dr Gift Kawalazila said there is no COVID19 case confirmed in the district.

He said a 21 year old lady coming from China arrived in Malawi on Saturday March 7 and presented with chest tightness and difficult breathing a day later for one day but had no cough, sneezing and fever.

“The suspect has similar signs and symptoms while in China and was diagnosed as Panic attach and was reassured that it is not COVID19.  Serial temperatures were taken while in China and was normal for 2 weeks.

“As part of follow up, people coming from these countries are now given contact details for DHO medical staff for use in case of emergency,” said Kawalazila.

He said the lady went to Mwaiwathu Hospital on Sunday March 8 due to the chest tightness and upon arrival, her mother called one of DHO medical staff who advised them not to alight from the vehicle.

The suspect was later taken for isolation at the quarantine for further investigation and preliminary investigation done so far does not point towards Coronavirus.

As part of disease surveillance, Blantyre DHO has been screening people coming from possible hotspots as well as putting suspected cases under isolation for observation.

“All suspected cases have been put under isolation for possible observation until when we are sure that the suspect is okay. This has been happening since the beginning of the outbreak” said Kawalazila.

He added that so far people coming from these countries are not showing any signs and symptoms and are, therefore, advised to be self quarantine.

“The office will continue with close follow up on all people coming from affected countries and will keep you updated on the test results for the suspect and further actions,” he said.

Recently, Malawi Red Cross Society also dismissed claims that a Denmark volunteer in Mwanza had Coronavirus.

Coronavirus was first reported from Wuhan, China on December 31, 2019.

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