Coronavirus News (May 2020)

News has arrived of Malawi’s first Covid-19 cases, in the Lilongwe and Blantyre areas. Reports have suggested that in Malawi only 20 people a day can be tested for the virus and there are just 25 intensive care unit beds and seven ventilators in the country of more than 18 million people.

The press acknowledge that there are 43 reported cases within Malawi with 4 deaths (it was only first reported by Biliat in early April that 3 cases had arrived). So far, known cases seem very few. Possibly there are many more that are under the radar. We need continued prayer that the virus does not spread unchecked through the villages.

Measures such as hand-washing, social distancing, stay at home and quarantine seem all but impossible to achieve in the village communities with whom we work. Hunger following poor harvests has already claimed lives, and weakened people have limited strength and immunity to resist the virus.

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SaltMalawi has been active in helping the churches by distributing water buckets and soap to enable the locals to have hand washing facilities for every one of 51 CDJ village churches. After the famine most rural families do not have enough money to prioritise buying soap for themselves. It may not be enough but at least when the church meets together the leaders are providing the opportunity for everyone to wash their hands with soap as well as practising social distancing. It goes without saying that the church leaders are looking to God for protection.

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