Malawians returning from Sth Africa refuse Covid-19 testing

May 27th, 2020

Malawians returning from South Africa are refusing to be tested as they come back into their country. Some are preferring quarantine rather than testing and some are trying to escape the authorities who insist they should be tested. The fear and stigma of testing positive for COVID19 is reminiscent of how HIV testing stigmatized millions. In the past HIV positive people could be ostracized from families, not welcome in their villages and even killed. This is an example of the fear of COVID19 generated by the global media at a time when it is becoming increasingly clear that PCR testing is unreliable.

Malawi is an interesting example of a country that has not enacted a strict lockdown. A local Human Rights Defender Coalition took the government to the High Court in Malawi twice, claiming that the government had not made enough provision for the poor in the case of a lockdown. The High court voted twice in their favour. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in Africa and could least afford the socio-economic consequences of a lockdown. Population 20 million, 4 deaths, 60 active cases, 1 critical.

The people of Malawi called out the potential disaster of lockdown and the High Court agreed. Lessons for us all.