Nkhotakota District Medical Officer (DMO), Dr Jacob Kafulafula on Tuesday presented a certificate to a patient who tested positive to the novel Coronavirus in the district, signifying that he had fully recovered.
Presenting the certificate, Kafulafula told the recovered patient and his contacts that were under self-quarantine in Chinombo Village in Traditional Authority Kanyenda in the district, that the granting of the certificate meant they had all recovered and were free to resume a normal life.
“After carrying out two follow-up tests on you, I can confirm that you have recovered and have no Coronavirus,” said Kafulafula.
The DMO explained that a number of factors determine whether a person should be under quarantine at a health facility or be isolated under self-quarantine.
“It’s not everybody who tests positive to Coronavirus that should be quarantined at a health facility, only those whose condition is very critical are the ones to be taken to a hospital.
“And currently, there is no specific drug for the disease. The prescriptions to COVID-19 patients are done only to treat the symptoms the patient presents.
“If he/she presents Malaria signs, we give malaria drugs, if its tuberculosis, we do likewise,” he said.
Kafulafula told the recovered patient that his case was mild as he was asymptomatic and therefore, needed to be under self-quarantine.
The DMO was giving the explanation after the recovered patient seemed to query the authenticity of his test results seeking to know if he had been prescribed any Coronavirus drug be declared recovered.
He had also queried why he was not taken to a health facility for treatment but was just advised to be under self-quarantine with routine checks and follow-ups.
Seizing the opportunity, one of the patient’s contacts, Village Head Chinombo asked the government to help those who were quarantined because of Coronavirus, observing that they did not engage in any income-generating activity during the period.
“About thirteen of us who are here, including me, were under self-quarantine. We, therefore, did not engage in any income-generating activity. I thought the government would come forward to assist us with a stimulus package to resume a normal life.
“As it stands now, we are helpless. We were quarantined at a time we were supposed to plant rice and we didn’t. Now you are saying there is no package meant for us. How are we going to resume our normal life?” he asked.
But Kafulafula, while thanking the patient and those who were under quarantine for their cooperation during the period, assured them that he would forward their concerns to relevant authorities.
He urged the family which had complained of discrimination and threats on their lives by the surrounding community during their quarantine, to report any such incident to the relevant authorities for action.
Nkhotakota was the first district to report a COVID-19 case outside the major cities in Malawi.