President Chakwera Speaks on COVID 19; Calls For Strict Preventive Measures
President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has urged Malawians to intensify efforts in combating spread of Coronavirus in the country, saying “the virus is spreading fast and spreading to kill” as death toll and local transmissions soar.
In his first national address on Coronavirus from his area 6 residence in Lilongwe, Dr. Chakwera said the situation in the country is much worse than it was some three months ago.
He however expressed fear that the number of confirmed cases the country has registered may not be a true reflection of the reality on the ground.
“…even though the number of people found with Coronavirus is just over 1,400, those with the virus maybe twenty times that number, spreading it unknowingly because they have not been tested and do not show symptoms,” said Chakwera.
The President disclosed that his administration will soon announce measures that every Malawian will be required to follow in order to stem further spread of the virus.
When asked if he is considering a lockdown, Dr. Chakwera said he is consulting relevant stakeholders to find a better way forward.
Nonetheless, in his speech the President indicated that the best way for Malawians was to find new ways of functioning in the face of COVID 19 as opposed to paralyzing all activities.
“COVID 19 does not demand the end of our way of life, but the adoption of a new way of life. The new way of life must strike a balance between public safety and social sustenance.”
Dr. Chakwera also said strict COVID 19 preventive measures will be enforced during his inauguration on 6 July, which coincides with the country’s Independence Day celebration.
According to the President, only about 20,000 people will be allowed to enter Bingu National Stadium for the event. All of them will be required to wear face masks and sanitize their hands.
During the event Dr. Chakwera revealed that he will appoint new Minister of Health and a new Secretary for Heath who will provide direction and review efforts in the fight against COVID 19.
He said among other tasks, the newly appointed minister and secretary for health will be to instill accountability and provide direction to the efforts of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID 19, to publicly account for how resources are being used and how the set preventive measures are being enforced.