President Lazarus Chakwera has taken a paradigm shift in national health governance in relation to novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic aimed at helping populations reduce their individual risk factors and augment their natural immunity.
Speaking at a live televised news conference on Saturday from his private- residence on Area 6 in Lilongwe, Chakwera said government is implementing measures to prevent further spread of the virus particularly during the inauguration ceremony for his presidency slated for Monday.
Chakwera, who was flanked by vice-president Saulos Chilima, said the impact of virus pandemic in the country)has gotten worse in the past three weeks.7
He said the presidency has been been assessing several critical areas that require immediate and strategic government intervention.
“At the top of the list is the Covid-19 pandemic. Following consultations with the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 that was formed by my predecessor, I come before you to give you a sobering report. This report can be summed up in five words: Malawi, we have a situation,” said Chakwera.
He said more than 75 percent of the coronavirus-related deaths have occured in the past three weeks.
President Chakwera further said the rate of local transmission has also risen in the past three weeks.
“First,it is a fact that even though over 1,400 people have tested positive for Covid- 19 in the last three months, almost half of them have gotten it in the last three weeks,” said Chakwera.
“Secondly, it is a fact that even though most infections in the first three months were spread by persons who caught the virus abroad, most of the infections in the last three weeks have been spread by persons who caught the virus in the local community where they work or live.
“Thirdly, it is a fact that even though 16 people have died from Covid-19 in the last three months, 75% of them have died in the last three weeks,” he added.
Chakwera continued: “Fourthly, it is a fact that even though the number of people found with Covid-19 is just over 1,400, those with the virus may be twenty times that number, spreading it unknowingly because they have not been tested and do not show symptoms.”
President Chakwera said the quartet of facts is telling one simple message that the coronavirus is spreading all over Malawi.
“It is spreading near each of us; it is spreading faster than before; and it is spreading with the power to kill.
“This truth may be unpleasant, but it is also undeniable, and my administration is committed to telling you the truth. Telling the truth about this virus is not only the right thing to do, but also a matter of life and death. The age of lies and misinformation is over,” he said
The Malawi leader said government is implementing measures to prevent further spread of the virus particularly during the inauguration ceremony slated for Monday at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
Among them, Chakwera said no-one will be allowed in the stadium without wearing a mask.
He said, to those who do not have their own, government has put aside measures including distribution of 100 000 masks to patrons at the event as well as ensuring that their hands are sanitised.
Chakwera said Covid-19 is here, but stressed that “the pandemic must not stop us from living, rather, it should prompt us to change our way of life.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :