A Second Wave of Covid Hits Malawi

Covid-19 cases are rising in Malawi. The second wave began in November. There have been 235 Covid-related deaths since. And counting. The president has declared a state of national disaster. On January 12th, Covid-19 killed two Malawian cabinet members. This left Malawians more afraid than ever before. If not even government officials are safe, what about the poor? What about those who lack access to medical resources? 

Orant is re-instigating mask production efforts. On October 27, 2020, we had suspended production. We had surpassed our target of 20,000 masks. Our supply could sustain us for three months. Demand had decreased. Cases were low. But now the situation is newly alarming. 

Orant’s Mobile Clinic will continue traveling to rural villages to deliver healthcare. The mobile staff will hold Covid prevention meetings with each community they visit. They will encourage hand washing, social distancing, and proper use of masks. They will inform villages of virus signs and symptoms. On their route, they will also distribute masks

Masks remain our best option for protecting our community. We anticipate selling 100 to 300 locally sewn masks a day. Our masks cost 200 Malawian kwachas. 26 cents in US dollars. This is an affordable price for our community. Sales revenue goes back into producing masks and paying our seamstresses. If someone cannot afford a mask, we will offer one pro bono. Our main goal is to keep people safe. 

The recent surge also affects education. Malawi’s president announced that schools will be suspended for three weeks. Only those who are writing examinations will continue. Students living at boarding schools will remain there until their health is assessed. While school suspension is the best option for public health, it’s distressing for student education and wellbeing. 

Malawians are taking the virus more seriously, especially after government officials have been affected. Rather than Covid feeling like a distant warning, it feels present. Close. Threatening. Our staff maintains faith. Many are hopeful for a vaccine in the next two to three months. In the meantime, as Kasese’s trusted medical provider, Orant will do everything in our power to slow the spread of Covid-19.

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