President Lazarus Chakwera has said travellers coming to the country through the airports will need to have a certificate showing that they have tested negative to coronavirus (Covid-19).
Chakwera said in his national address monitored on local radio stations Saturday night that the Ministry of Transport is making great strides in meeting the safety standards of the International Air Transport Association (Iata) so that the country is now confident to safely open Kamuzu International Airport in the first week of September.
“When that happens, passengers arriving from abroad will need to have a certificate showing that they had been tested no more than 10 days prior, be tested again on arrival,” said Chakwera.
He said the passengers will then be “transported to designated hotels for 48 hours of self-isolation while waiting for the results and before being directed where to go based on their results.”
Chakwera said he was thankful to God that despite the number of people found with Covid-19 virus passing the 5 000 mark, only five percent have been serious cases that required hospitalisation.
“I thank God for his mercy towards us by sparing us some of the havoc the virus has wreaked on other parts of the globe. Even among the 389 health workers who have contracted the virus, we have lost only one and the rest are in recovery. I thank God for this.
“Secondly, I thank our health workers for continuing to defend us from the virus with their expertise in matters of prevention and treatment. Because of their efforts, over 37 000 have now been tested,” said Chakwera.
The President also thanked members of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 for their work of coordinating and spearheading efforts to fight against the spread of the coronavirus on all fronts which he described as commendable.
He said: “It is because of their organisation that we are now able to set some benchmarks for the restoration of social order and the recovery of the economy.
“For instance, in the education cluster of the task force, guidelines have already been developed on what schools need to do to reopen safely. In fact, we will start assessing the readiness of each school this coming week so that the schools that meet our safety standards can reopen in early September.”
He said schools that will meet set Covid-19 requirements will open early September.
In his 11-minute address, the President further announced that global and local partners are continuing to support the country with oxygen ventilators and concentrators among other things to help save lives.
“One such partner is UNICEF, which has helped us procure a new oxygen plant to be installed at Kamuzu Central Hospital in the next three weeks. This plant will make a difference in the treatment of those patients who have trouble breathing on their own.
“To make full use of it, 200 new ventilators donated by the African Union’s Envoy on Africa’s COVID-19 Response, Strive Masiyiwa, and 30 oxygen concentrators from China will be in the country in early September,” he said.
Also arriving in early September are 20,000 test kits donated by China.
“On the local scene, my administration has signed a memorandum of understanding with an organisation called Masks for All, which has already distributed four million masks nationwide and has pledged to distribute three million more,” he says.
Cumulatively as of Saturday August 15, 2020, Malawi had recorded 5,026 cases including 157 deaths. Of these cases, 1,084 are imported infections and 3,942 are locally transmitted.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :