Lockdown is good for Malawi, but do not unnecessarily make life difficult for people

It is not easy to contain a deadly virus that is spreading through traditional means that defines human interactions.

A vendors in Mzuzu: We’d rather die of corona than of hunger

All of over sudden we can’t shake hands anymore. All over sudden we can’t sit or stand close to our dearest ones. All of sudden we can’t be in a public transport.

I am saying all over sudden, everything that gave us, humans, that intimate interactions has, now,  become a problem.

Governments across the world are struggling on how best they can lead, in these times, to ensure that this Covid-19 virus is tamed.

Lockdown of countries—through strict control of human mobility, has been seen to be one of the effective means of slowing the spread of the virus.

In that vein, Malawi government announced a 21-day lockdown starting Saturday midnight.

In these 21 days, Malawians will see their ease of mobility curtailed by heavy presence of the army and the police.

Much as this sounds drastic, it is the only known mechanism that Malawi needs at this present as the battle against the virus escalate.

However, caution need to be raised to the authorities regarding implementing this lockdown.

With 85 percent of the people living in rural areas and, also, over 50 percent of the 18 million Malawians living below a dollar a day, implementing a lockdown is akin to cutting off most people from their daily income generating activities.

Most Malawians, we know, survive through hand-to-mouth. They make a kwacha that is consumed the same day. So keeping them off the streets for 21 days sounds like a death penalty.

This is why government, non-governmental organizations, religious groups and communities need, at this point in time, to put their energies together towards protecting the most vulnerable in our midst.

Government needs to come up with social safety nets that, at least, will keep vulnerable families afloat.

We don’t want a situation of protecting people from one problem while at the same time throwing them to another challenge. We don’t want that.

Otherwise, lockdown is good, but it must not be implemented with stricter impunities that destroys and kills the same communities we want to protect.

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Despo Ndogolo
Despo Ndogolo
10 months ago

Enforcing lockdown is now is best decision to curb the spread of this COVID 19. But problem is how government will help it’s people who most of them are in absolute poverty. Remember that China was able to deliver everything to people’s homes and making lockdown success. But if not lockdown means nothing. Just like in South Africa where fatality rate is skyrocketing each passing day even though there is lockdown. Come up with a proper strategy before enforcing lockdown. Otherwise many will die from hunger than coronavirus itself

Y R U sostupid!
10 months ago

It’s just a virus.

Nelson Ngwira
10 months ago

I understand well that lock down is necessary and needed but my question is does our government have chemicals which they will be spraying when people are in doors? what about food derivery does malawi has that application and accesabilities

Aabwino
Aabwino
10 months ago

Lockdown in whatever form is bad for the country. In Taiwan and Singapore the government is enforcing wearing of masks. Taiwan has managed to curb the spread of the virus even though its miles away from the source of the virus- China. Taiwan has not taken the lockdown route. Let everyone wear a facemask and in the markets the sellers and buyers must be in face mask when transacting .

Mulopwana
10 months ago
Reply to  Aabwino

Enforcement of wearing facr masks wud be the most appropriate direction for Poor Malawi and bot lock down. I support ur casr

Testimony
Testimony
10 months ago
Reply to  Mulopwana

You guys are real human beings with compassion. I like your comments. Lockdown in Malawi is not practical! WHO has the same views.

Bill Robinson
Bill Robinson
10 months ago
Reply to  Testimony

It’s a ‘catch 22’ of the worst order. But starvation is guaranteed without food. If governmental provision is not to be made, who can blame opposition to the lockdown, crazy though that may seem?
The key lies in international awareness raising. France has set an example.

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