Think Tank Conference Tackles COVID-19 3rd Wave Preparedness

We now know what the virus is - Prof Mfutso Banda We now know what the virus is - Prof Mfutso Banda - pic by Happy Njalam'mano

Health think tanks say the first and second waves of covid 19 have taught the country lessons to prepare for and manage the looming third wave.

Professor Joseph Mfutso Bengo of College of Medicine says besides vaccine, the country's leadership needs to enforce regulations targeting prevention of further spread of the pandemic.

He said this in Blantyre yesterday after a virtual 2nd Extraordinary Think Tank Conference which was held under a theme “Promoting Equitable Access to COVID 19 Vaccine and Informing Preparedness of COVID-19 3rd Wave”.

“We have learnt a lesson. We have seen that in the past, Malawian returnees from South Africa were not put in quarantine. Now, when one comes from South Africa, they are tested. If tested positive for COVID-19, they are quarantined.

“We are going to face a third wave of COVID-19, if it comes, God willing, with a lot of knowledge. We now know what the virus is. In the past we did not know,” he said.

Professor Mfutso Bengo added that “we now know how the virus works; we have got the capacity to test and differentiate between different viruses.

“But also, we have got a framework of vaccine. If there was not equitable framework, then those who are rich and powerful would have accessed it. But now, it is based on a framework which says that those who are vulnerable should come first.

“We have also learnt that leadership matters. Bad decisions can kill; good decisions save lives.”

Professore Mfutso Bengo said urged people to keep observing all the recommended COVID-19 preventive measures as a way of dealing with the looming pandemic.

The Conference was organized by the Department of Health Systems and Policy and School of Public Health and Family Medicine in conjunction with the Centre of Excellence in Ethics and Governance (CEEG) and Health Economics and Policy Unit (HEPU).

It attracted local and international experts who spoke on different topics surrounding Covid-19.

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