VP Chilima Punches Holes in COVID19 Response in the Country
Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima says Covid-19 outbreak which has affected the nation should be a wake-up call, to improve the health system.
In his address to the nation which took about 30 minutes Sunday night, Dr. Chilima said it is unfortunate that the current administration is facing a serious deficit in public trust, such that it is no longer a source of credible information, on the spread of coronavirus.
Dr. Chilima cautioned loss of trust may lead to disaster as people will end up ignoring basic advice in coronavirus preventative measures.
“This is war, our country is at war against Covid19," said Chilima.
He said as it stands President Peter Mutharika should demonstrate good leadership , by inviting the opposition and other leaders, to map the way forward, on how to deal with Covid-19.
The Vice President said there is need to seriously invest in the country's health system, without using the current situation to gain political mileage.
He said for instance, risk allowance for health workers must be sustained and their personal protective equipment must be adequate.
“The risk that healthcare workers face are real and they are faced on a daily basis. Those risks have been around before Covid-19 and they will remain after the virus has been contained."
“Covid-19 will not leave just by giving it silent treatment, silence or political talk is not a strategy for this kind of serious crisis,“ said Chilima.
The Vice President also cautioned government officials against abusing public funds meant for Covid-19 response.
On plans to impose a lockdown in the country, the Vice President joined calls for proper measures on its implementation, cautioning the move can lead to social unrest due to poor planning.
Dr. Chilima also called for the respect of rule of law during this period, saying there is a tendency of attacking judges which is lamentable.
On the coming Presidential election the Vice President said the spread of coronavirus must not stop the electoral process, adding all relevant stakeholders must ensure the process is credible.
"We shall ensure no one rig the election,” said Chilima.
He also condemned an incident in which some Police and Prison officers shot in the air during a strike by the Prison officers.
Government is yet to comment on issues raised by the State Vice president.