District Commissioner for Dowa, Alex Mdooko, has called on government sectors to set aside money to buy emergency face masks for clients coming to seek various services at the council saying not all have money to buy the masks.
Mdooko said that all government sectors receive clients and it would be good to buy these emergency masks to protect themselves as well their clients due to the surge of Coronavirus which has reached an alarming rate in Malawi.
He added that it is his wish to see that all government offices are fumigated and this should be extended to education cluster to sit down and see to it that schools too, are fumigated observing that this strain Covid-19 is deadly.
Speaking during an emergency meeting the Public Health Emergency Management Committee [PHEMC] organized on Wednesday held at the boma, Mdooko, said since government has declared Covid-19 a State of Disaster, there is a great need to reach out to all people in the district including the hard-to-reach with messages of enforcing the use of wearing face masks.
He mentioned although it will be a challenge for the rural people to wear face masks, they have to be sensitized that this Covid-19 is different from the first wave which we had in March; it spreads faster through the mouth and nose, hence masks will prevent the virus from finding its way in.
…….”Reach out to many people with enforcement messages of wearing face masks by using all available means, writing letters to church leaders, community leaders, village heads and all stakeholders for the people to die after hearing the message,’’….said Mdooko.
He appealed to organizations printing ICT materials for Covid-19, to print the messages in local languages suiting the particular tribe so that each and every one is able to get the information and be an agent of change in his or her communities.
Dowa District Director of Education, Youth and Sports, Christopher Kumikundi, said his office is worried with misinformation of Covid-19 vaccines which has spread in many schools particularly in Mponela side, saying parents and guardians are being forced to withdraw their children so that they should not receive the vaccinations, saying this alone demand an awareness to dispel the rumour.
…….”The rumour has brought in fear in the mind of learners thereby disturbing efficiency and effective teaching and learning in schools,’’…… he lamented.
Kumikundi said his office is still waiting for guidance from the Ministry of Education and the Presidential Taskforce on Covid -19 on the possibility of school closure, but disinfection of its offices is still going on in the district.
In her remarks, Dowa Police Station Officer –in –Charge, Deputy Commissioner of Police [DCP] Rhoda Manjolo, said police in the district have already started enforcing Covid-19 restrictions of wearing face masks and bars closing at 8:00p.m. urging stakeholders to work together as a team in the enforcement of the restrictions.
Manjolo said the enforcement of wearing masks should not be left to police alone, hence everyone has a duty to play to ensuring that the prevention measures are being adhered to.
……’’Let’s work together to reduce the further spread of the pandemic in our district, if the district fail, it is not only the District Commissioner [DC] who has failed, but all have failed,’’….said Manjolo.
By Vincent Gunde