It is shocking to note that in some rural areas in Nkhotakota district, people are doing various activities as usual despite escalating of COVID-19 cases.
Various activities such as religious gatherings, funeral ceremony and Kalimanjira Wednesday market are happening without observing social distancing and it is very rare to see villagers wearing face masks when in public places as precautionary measures against novel coronavirus.
A snap survey that Malawi Muslim Website has conducted in five villages of Thandaza , Kapanga, Nkhandwe, Mbalame and Chiziri in Traditional Authority Malengachanzi, shows that most villagers lack information about the deadly virus.
Malawi Muslim Website has established that Malawi Government and other stakeholders must adjust its purse informing the villagers about the genesis of the pandemic, its prevention and its consequences among others.
Most villagers say the disease is only attacking people in urban dwellers, a stereotype that Chief Thandaza has refuted.
“There is no COVID-19 here. The disease is only attacking those urban dwellers such as those living in Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu. Those people meet different intruders making them vulnerable to the disease,” Raphael Mayisala told Malawi Muslim Website .
Malawi Muslim Website has discovered that most people in the area are not following the precautionary measures because they believe that COVID-19 is only imported from other countries.
Malawi Government and other stakeholders have a big role to civic educate the rural dwellers in the district that novel coronavirus is now in all districts across the country. The villagers must be told that the disease in now transmitted in their communities.
Chief Thandaza urged people in the area to avoid cheating themselves that novel coronavirus is only attacking people leaving in urban areas.
The Chief urged people to follow all precutionary measures put in place by authorities against the pandemic.
“Don’t be cheated that the disease is for people in Lilongwe and Blantyre. No ! Even in this village, COVID-19 can attack you . You need to start following all precautionary measures such as wearing face mask, washing hands and observing social distancing to prevent contracting and further spread of the disease, ” he says.
The Chief reiterated that villagers can make their own face mask using a piece of cloth.
“It is not that always you should buy an expensive face mask. You can just make it on your own or you can find a tailor and ask him or her to make one for you at a cheaper price,” he says.
Chief Thandaza reminded people that it is a duty of every Malawian to fight against COVID-19.
“Last week , the District Commissioner called Chiefs in the district to brief us on the disease. The disease is dangerous and it is our mandate to work together with the Government to defeat it. The only way of controlling COVID-19 is by following the precautionary measures,” he says.