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APM Says Lock-down Could Go Beyond May 9th

Mutharika: Lock-down could be extended Mutharika: Lock-down could be extended File Photo

President Peter Mutharika says the 21-day national lock-down announced by his health minister, Jappie Mhango, could be extended beyond mid-night 9th May depending on trends.

Mutharika said this in a national address Tuesday night immediately after Mhango announced the lock-down.

“I would like to urge you to fully comply with the measures because they are for the good of our country. 

“Currently, Malawi has suffered 2 deaths. As I speak, the United States of America has lost over 23,000 lives. Italy has lost over 20,000 people. The United Kingdom has lost over 11,000 lives.

“Many more countries across the world have lost many lives. All our neighbouring countries have Coronavirus cases and lives are being lost. If we are not careful, Malawi can lose up to 50,000 lives. We need to act more now,” Mutharika said.

The president observed that the minister’s declaration outlined measures that will be in force during the period of the lockdown. 

Mutharika said, while Malawi is on lockdown, his administration will work to save lives.

Action during the lock-down, he said, will include:

  1. Intensifying laboratory testing for Coronavirus. We have now set up an additional testing laboratory at Mzuzu Central Hospital which now brings the number of testing laboratories in the country to four.
  2. Continuing with the recruitment of additional health personnel across the country. We have already recruited 626 healthcare workers out of 2000 announced in my previously address.
  3. Deploying security personnel to provide border security patrols and mounting of road blocks in strategic points country wide.
  4. Providing Personnel Protective Equipment (PPEs) to health facilities in all the districts; and
  5. Conducting massive awareness campaigns to ensure that members of the public are well informed on Coronavirus.

 The president said fighting the Coronavirus was “a challenging war for everyone, everywhere” and expensive observing that the country requires about MK150 billion to implement its National COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan.

“We need to unite. Let me once again appeal to all political leaders that we need to join our hands in fighting this Coronavirus pandemic.

“No-one must take advantage of the suffering of people and politicize Coronavirus. This is not a time for politics. This is a time for saving lives,” Mutharika said.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 15/04/2020

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