Effective Monday, June 5, 2023 — as soon as revised CoVID-19 Rules & Regulations are duly gazetted — the Presidential Taskforce on CoVID-19 & Cholera has adjusted some travel requirements related to the pandemic that claimed many lives since its onset in 2020.
The revised travel requirements — as announced in a public statement from the Taskforce’s co-chairperson, Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda are:
1. A CoVID-19 vaccination certificate or a negative CoVID-19 PCR test result will no longer be a mandatory requirement for entry into Malawi for all incoming travellers; and
2. All outgoing travellers will be responsible for checking and complying with entry requirements in the countries of their destination and/or transit.
“These adjustments have been made in light of the current markedly decreased CoVID-19 situation in the country and globally; and recent announcement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that the CoVID-19 pandemic is no longer a Public Emergency of International Concern.
“The public is, however, advised that CoVID-19 remains a public health threat and all countries, including Malawi, are expected to continue advocating for and applying necessary preventive and other control measures, such as CoVID-19 vaccination for high risk population groups.
“For this reason, CoVID-19 vaccinations will continue to be offered at health facilities across the country, and all those aged 12 years and above are encourage to get vaccinated at the earliest possible time to ensure that they are protected from developing severe disease and risk of hospitalization and death due to CoVID-19
“The Ministry of Health continues to monitor the CoVID-19 situation in the country and globally and reserves the right to re-institute appropriate CoVID-19 control measures such as in the event of new significant increases in CoVID-19 cases and deaths — and as disease situations and trends may dictate from time to time.”
Early last month, following a recommendation from WHO emergency committee for CoVID-19, Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus confirmed that the pandemic is no longer be categorized a public health emergency of international concern(PHEIC).
A statement from Gavi-the Vaccine Alliance said WHO declared the PHEIC when an emergency is “serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected”, with implications for health beyond the affected state’s national borders”.
The status helps trigger a set of measures and legally binding obligations that facilitate a coordinated international response and lack of PHEIC status does not mean CoVID-19 is no longer a pandemic.
The director general is quoted as saying this news does not mean CoVID-19 is “over as a global health threat,” saying several PHEICs have not been related to pandemics, and several sustained epidemics or “pandemics” have not been assigned PHEIC status.
The statement said the Emergency Committee has met every three months since the PHEIC was declared in early 2020 and that the lifting of official PHEIC status is a sign of the progress made in the past year — getting most countries to a solid baseline of coverage, including with support from COVAX which has focused efforts on lower-income countries.
Global coverage with a primary series (two doses) of CoVID-19 vaccine stands at 64% on average, and at 55% on average in the 92 lowest-income countries (compared to 28% at the beginning of 2022).
Meanwhile, Chiponda also reported in her situation report on cholera, that the outbreak is now under control with 19 health districts reporting zero cases in the past 14 days — in Chitipa, Nkhata Bay, Dowa, Likoma, Mzimba South, Mzimba North, Mwanza, Ntchisi, Phalombe, Kasungu, Thyolo, Rumphi, Chiradzulu, Nkhotakota, Mangochi, Dedza, Neno, Ntcheu and Machinga — where the first case was first reported in March last year.
The rest of the 10 districts are reporting new cases — namely Blantyre, Chikwawa, Balaka, Lilongwe, Mulanje, Salima, Nsanje, Zomba, Karonga and Mchinji.
The cumulative confirmed cases and deaths reported since its onset of the outbreak is 58,821 and 1,761 respectively while a total of 57,047 people have recovered with 13 in treatment centres as of June 4.
Chiponda thus applauds the public “for taking part in reducing the number of cholera cases while at the same time imploring on everyone to continue adhering to the disease’s prevention, containment and control measures so as to sustain the gains made so far”.
“We all have a role to play — it begins with you, it begins with me; together we will half the spread of cholera in our communities, together we will win this fight.”
Source link : https://allafrica.com/stories/202306060209.html
Publish date : 2023-06-06 09:11:05