Blantyre District Director of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Dr. Gift Kawalazira has disclosed that District Health Office (DHO) owes its staff arrears in allowances amounting to K50 million for Covid-19.

He told the Press on Wednesday that this has resulted into the collapse of the frontline staff, attributing the development to the further spread of the pandemic in the district.

“We owe our staff about K50 million for their allowances. We started working as soon as the disease was discovered in January and in March; government gave us K45 million. A good percentage of the amount went towards allowances and equipment to be used in the course of their work. That was March and we are now in July, we don’t have the money,” Kawalazira said.

“In addition, our environmental health team was assaulted during burial of a Covid-19 corpse in Ndirande Township some weeks ago. We have contact tracing problems because the staffs are now refusing to work in fear of being attacked again,” he added.

DHO will no longer bury Covid-19 dead bodies as the team will only disinfect, provide transport, basic Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) advice and leave the burial ceremony in the hands of the relatives.

Blantyre has recorded a total of 358 cases, with 313 active cases and five deaths since the first case was registered in April, 2020.

Kawalazira said with the current winter weather where there is high prevalence of coughs and flus, rampant community transmission of the disease was likely to continue but would not show any signs.

“Going forward, only positive cases shall be admitted to our isolation and treatment centres, while sample collection will only be for the symptomatic individuals and those travelling out for medical attention,” he said.

Out of the total registered cases, 315 were local transmission, with 43 imported. About 1,540 suspects have been traced so far with 3,132 tests conducted.

Source: MANA

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