Presidential taskforce calls for cultural norms adjustment

The Presidential taskforce on Covid-19 has challenged the public to adjust and change cultural norms if the country is to win Covid-19 fight. Speaking during a media briefing Monday evening in Lilongwe, the taskforce’s co-chairperson Dr. John Phuka said despite restricting public gatherings, there are some practices such as funeral ceremonies and family gatherings which are still bringing a lot of people at one place. This according to Dr. Phuka is putting lives of people at a higher risk of contracting Coronavirus as they fail to observe government set preventive measures. “Mass gatherings including markets, public transport, family gatherings, churches and funeral ceremonies among others are acting as super spreaders of the disease. I should point out that the more people interact, the closer in distance the interaction is, and the longer the interaction lasts, the higher the risk of spreading Covid-19”, said Dr. Phuka. Dr. Phuka further said the taskforce has observed that some people have contracted the virus after attending funeral ceremonies hence a call to the general public to always take into considerations precautions to prevent further spread of Covid-19. “Let me point out it clearly regardless whether the funeral is Covid-19 related or not, precautions have to be taken into considerations to help prevent further spread of Covid-19 in communities. Changes need to be made to the way funerals, visitations, and memorials to the deceased are held”, lamented Dr. Phuka. Dr. Phuka also pleaded with the citizenry to ensure a provision of adequate hand washing facilities and to always wear face masks properly because they reduce chances of getting and spreading the virus if social distance is not observed. As one measure to contain further spread of Covid-19, government announced that dead bodies should be buried within 24 hours and that food should not be served to avoid keeping people at one place for a longtime.