President Lazarus Chakwera has declared the coronavirus pandemic a national disaster.
The declaration was made during his address to the nation following the death of two cabinet ministers from Covid-19 and an unprecedented rise in positive cases.
Transport Minister and Chakwera’s second-in-command in the Malawi Congress Party Sidik Mia and Local Government Minister Lingson Belekanyama passed on earlier today.
The two were among several cabinet ministers who took to social media several days ago to confirm their positive Covid-19 statuses.
Apart from Mia and Belekanyama, Malawi has today also lost other influential figures including Inkosi Njolomole of Ntcheu, politician Wakuda Kamanga and medical doctor Rudolph Mvula.
The deaths also come a day after the death of another senior government official, Principal Secretary for Information Ernest Kantchentche.
Since 1st January, over 40 people have died of COVID-19 in the country.
The deaths and the ever increasing number of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 have driven President Chakwera to make the declaration which he has described as a first step, as there are also considerations to declare a state of emergency.
This is the second time that the pandemic has been declared a national disaster.
Former President Peter Mutharika also declared the same in March last year before imposing a lockdown.
The president, has since appealed to the country’s development partners for assistance.
While delivering what would be seen as a massage of doom, the President was quick to remind Malawians that there is hope and called for people not to back down in the fight against the pandemic.
Joining Chakwera in the message f hope in deputy speaker of Parliament Madalitso Kazombo who through his social media page has appeal to people to follow preventive measures to the latter.
In the post, Kazombo who has also been diagnosed with COVID last week, has further shared tips on beating the virus and recommended some home remedies for others that have also tested positive to the virus.
Moving forward, President Chakwera has since called on ministries of Health, Education, and Justice, led by the office of the Vice President to review the current guidelines on the prevention of pandemic for possible amendments.
The current guidelines have limits on trading hours for drinking joints, mandatory use of a facemask in all public places and a 100 people cap on gatherings.
Meanwhile, Chakwera has called for an emergency meeting with the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 to further map the way forward out of the current crisis.