Opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) president Atupele Muluzi has called on president Lazarus Chakwera to be decisive in the fight against the raging Covid-19.
In a statement released on Saturday, Muluzi says the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 has increased rapidly over the past few days and it constitutes the most urgent and serious challenge to both the health of our people and our national development.
“We have seen a total of 7,925 cases nationally which has led to 208 fatalities. There are currently 1,705 patients being treated. We extend our deep sympathies to those who are suffering pain and under life threat of COVID-19. Our profound condolences to the families who have lost loved ones to the pandemic,” he says.
He says faced with this unprecedented situation, Malawi is now approaching the threshold set within the Governments National Contingency Plan for it to be termed a ‘significant outbreak’.
Muluzi, a former minister of health, therefore called on Government to make the required COVID-19 funds available during the budget review to help cover the increasing cost of managing the disease, including PPE’s for our health personnel and risk allowances.
“We call on Government to revise its National Response Strategy to consider increasing testing sites with testing kits across the country, enhanced public awareness, engagement, treatment and prevention to help in managing the pandemic,” he says.
He says gaps have been identified in existing strategy and this has been exacerbated by the new variant strain that appears to be more contagious, saying as a result the public is struggling to get tested, treatment centers are now stretched and we are witnessing both cases and deaths being underreported.
“Government needs to urgently review these issues and look at any necessary restrictions or direct interventions required to further address the spread of the disease,” he says.
He says if the COVID-19 outbreak cannot be effectively contained in a prompt manner, it would inflict even greater harm to the lives, safety and health of even more people, and exert a severe impact on the economic and social development of our country.
He encouraged the government to fully leverage the strength of our civil society organizations and volunteers with a view to unleashing the power of all social sectors to combat the pandemic.
“While government needs to devote its efforts towards pandemic control, there is a need to adopt an integrated approach to ensure economic and social development and honour government’s commitment to people’s living standards and social progress.
” This includes cushioning low-income urban dwellers from the economic effects of the pandemic” says Muluzi.
He says as the third largest political party represented in parliament, the UDF undertakes to maintain close monitoring of the unusual circumstances of pandemic outbreak, to ensure better performance of the government by providing the political guidance, checks and balance for the purpose of injecting political energy to the fight against the outbreak.
He says the UDF believes that the current difficulties are temporary, so long as there is a joint concerted effort to fight the pandemic together.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :