President Lazarus Chakwera has emphasized that government agencies must scale up their efforts to help fight the spread of COVID-19.
In his address a short while ago, President Chakwera has ordered the Treasury to release funds to enhance the country’s capacity in different spheres.
He acknowledged the pandemic has hit hard.
Among decisions made to create room for the growing COVID-19 cases, the Malawi leader has also ordered that a 100 bed facility be opened at Zomba State House and 300 bed capacity at Bingu Stafium in Lilongwe.
He stressed the new funding will facilitate recruitment of newly graduated interns, CHAM workers and staff for central hospitals.
He said the priority will be procurement of PPEs and Oxygen concentrators.
“These must be in the country by the end of next week by Chartered Plane, if need be,” he added.
He observed that the caseload has increased by 43% since April last year.
He described this surge a result of negligence.
On resources, he said his government released K 6.2 billion to fight the pandemic.
The resources were split among various sectors for their efforts in fighting the pandemic.
The resources included those used to repatriate over 19,000 Malawians, mostly from South Africa.
Among solutions, the president assigned seven ministries to plan and coordinate the fight against the pandemic in the country.
In his address, he said tents and prefabricated structures will be increased.
All schools will close for three weeks.
However, those in boarding schools will remain there.
– Drinking places to close by 8PM
– Markets must close by 5 PM
– All public places must be disinfected regularly
– Fines for lack of masks
– Curfew from 5 am to 9 am
– Religious gatherings to have not more than 50 under strict regulations.
He also called on Malawians to realign their expectations based on emerging realities.
“Because of decades of neglect and plunder, the pandemic has caught us unawares,” he emphasised.
He stressed that the rapid spread is a result of people’s behaviour.
He called on Malawians to stop selfish and careless behaviour- citing examples of disregarding social distancing, not wearing a mask, disregarding curfew and negligent behaviour of not declaring suspicion or isolating when in contact with a known COVID-19 patient.
“We must be our brother’s and sister’s keepers. God bless Malawi,” he concluded.