Phalombe District Health Office says it is facing challenges in containing Covid-19 suspects on self-quarantine as most of them are evidently engaging in public activities.

District Environmental Health Officer for Phalombe DHO, Chimwemwe Jella told Malawi News Agency that despite advising the people to stay home to protect others from the risk of catching the Coronavirus, most of the suspects and confirmed patients are seen walking around and mixing with the public.

Said Jella: “Our role as health personnel is to assist them medically and counsel them on how to stay home within the days of isolation. However, ensuring that they are staying at home is the responsibility of community leaders and other members including the police.”

He added that while engaging with Covid-19 suspects, the DHO involves police and traditional leaders in order to foster adherence, but still they get surprised to see that the suspects are not following the guidance.

Asked whether police in the district have taken a role of enforcing isolation rules as designed by the health department, Police Spokesperson in the district, Innocent Moses said the police were not involved in engaging Covid-19 patients and suspects, hence the failure to make follow ups.

He also said police in the district were not fully mandated to enforce Covid-19 self quarantine measures.

Phalombe has nine confirmed cases of which 90 percent were being managed at home, a thing that has created need for follow ups on patients and their previous contacts that are suspected to have had the virus.

Meanwhile the District Health Office is yet to conduct an orientation meeting for traditional leaders aimed at empowering them to enforce Covid-19 self-quarantine measures.

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