By Chancy Namadzunda:
As some collages have been hit hard with Covid-19 pandemic, having lost staff members as well as students, DMI St John the Baptist University of Malawi is rather a model in the fight against the pandemic.
With no recorded case during the first wave, the university has registered a single case during the deadly second wave of the pandemic and has ably contained it from spreading further.
“One of our staff members tested positive to Covid-19 after attending her uncle’s burial ceremony in Blantyre. Upon arrival, she quickly notified the management, she was put on isolation and Mangochi District Heath Office was notified, they rushed to test her and then she was put in isolation,” said the University’s Quality Assurance Manager and Lecturer James Chilita.
At that time, some students were sitting for end of semester exams therefore management had to exercise extra caution to avoid creating unnecessary panic among the students.
“we were advised by the DHO office not to press the panic button. We had a lot of students to protect as well as some communities that surround us since some of the students reside within. Since then, our heath personnel have been working hand in hand with the DHO,” he said.
Until her recovery, the school never registered any new case and the surrounding community is COVID-19 free as well.
“As an institution that keep a lot of students, we have set aside a number of facilities as isolation centers, which can take a good number of those infected. We also have in-house health personnel who are on hotline for 24 hours as an emergency response team. These coupled with religiously following up laid down preventive measures and guidelines, we are able to keep safe those who are within and around the compass,” he said.
The University of Malawi has lost staff members and students during the second wave of Covid-19.
Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera has introduced new lockdown measures to contain a jump in confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19. The restrictions include school closures, a night-time curfew, and no gatherings over 50 people.
The measure comes five days after Chakwera declared a state of national disaster in response to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
The new measures, he said, are being enacted because the situation is getting worse in the second wave of the pandemic.