Malawi government should consider turning the idle state residences as quarantine centers for those contracting coronavirus (Covid-19), State vice-president Saulos Chilima has said.
As it stands, the Malawi President has access of stay to six residences which include Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe as the official residence, Mtunthama Residence in Lilongwe, Mzuzu State Lodge, Sanjika Palance in Blantyte, Zomba State House and Chikoko Bay in Mangochi.
But addressing a news conference on Covid-19 in Lilongwe, Chilima said with increasing number of people texted with Covid-19, it means that Malawi now has “a real risk of community transmission.”
“We must change our testing protocols and expand tracing and testing of community contacts,” he said.
He said government should consider designating the idle state lodges as facilities for quarantine on Covid-19.
“I am talking about Zomba, Mudi, Area 12, Mzuzu and Mtunthama,” he said.
Mudi in Blantyre is the house which is meant for vice-president when he is in Blantyre while Area 12 Residence for the vice-president, Chilima is not using it as he stays at his private residence.
Mtunthama is also vacant as President Peter Mutharika stays at the official sprawling Kamuzu Palace.
Zomba State House remains idle and there were suggestions government would turn it into a military hospital but the project has stalled.
Chilima also said apart from three testing centres, 2 in Blantyre and 1 Lilongwe, the country needs more testing centres.
“Another one in Mzuzu to carter for our brothers and sisters in the North. And another one in Mangochi to carter for our brothers and sisters in the Eastern Region,” said Chilima.
Chilima said this should be considered as “time of war, a war against an invisible enemy, the coronavirus.”
Covid-19 has rapidly spread from China to European countries and the United States of America, and global cases have exceeded 1.4 million. The number of deaths, however, is still rising.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :