Mutharika lays out Malawi ‘response plan’ on Coronavirus: Bans gatherings of 100 people, schools closing

Malawi government has declared Covid-19, the coronavirus pandemic a national disaster  and and  has banned gatherings of more than 100 people  as the disease continues to spread around the world and more countries in Africa are confirming positive cases.

President Mutharika: We need to expedite court cases on corruption.”

President Peter Mutharika in a national address, monitored on taxpayer-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC),  announced sweeping measures on Friday in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

He said restricting of  public gatherings to less than 100 people applies to weddings, funerals, church, congregations,  political rallies, government meetings.

The President said the national security apparatus has been ordered into action to enforce the restrictions.

Malawi’s neighbours Zambia and Tanzania have recorded two and one case, respectively, with World Health Organisation (WHO) director general Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesus urging African countries to prepare for the worst of Covid-19 as cases increase on the continent, but Malawi is yet to confirm a case.

Mutharika urged the public to remain calm, saying hospitals can support patients by relieving the symptons while their bodies fight the infection naturally.

“As we take every precaution, we  must maintain our hope because according to health experts, 97 percent of patients infected by the coronavirus get well after medical interventions,” he said.

The Malawi leader  is  also urging citizens to exercise caution in social interactions and dispelled two myths that black people are immune to Covid-19 and that the warm climate of Africa is protective against the virus.

Mutharika said people should take preventative measures like washing of hands often with soap and water; stopping handshakes and maintaining  social distance with people.

“My government, the light of technical guidance from the World  Health Organisation, is implementing activities in preparation of the coronavirus outbreak. The aim of these activities is to prevent coronavirus from being transmitted in Malawi and also to prepare the country to handle any case should a coronavirus case be diagonised,” said President Mutharika.

He said among many interventions, government has development a response plan with K15 billion budget ($20m),  saying his administraion has provided K2.5 billion as immediate fundig towards the  ‘Response Plan’ and  is appealing for more support from the private sector and international commitment.

The President said government has suspended hosting of international meetings and banned public servants for attending both regional and international meetings being hosted by affected countries.

The ban has been extended to sports.

He also announced that all schools, colleges  should be closed by Monday March 23 2020.

Mutharika announced ban foreign nationasl fro countries highly affected by coronavirus such as China and Italy.

“Returning residents and nationals from coronavirus affected countries will be subjected to self or institutional quarantine,” he said.

Mutharika said coronavirus should not be politicised and asked Malawians to pull in one direction to contain  it.

“Spiritually, I call upon all Malawians of different denominations and faith to turn to God in times of fear and uncertainty as we do in times of joy and celebration,” he said.

The pandemic, with 66 000 confirmed deaths, has disrupted travel, business, industries social events and livelihoods globally.

Professor Adamson Muula, an epidemiologist from the University of Malawi’s College of Medicine, says there are a lot of basic preventive measures to learn before the novel virus reaches Malawi.

He explains: “The speed of spread of any other infectious disease varies according to many factors. Direct contact between people is one of the way scoronavirus is transmitted.

“So, for sure, close contact, handshakes, kissing and being close to people who are coughing or sneezing will spread the virus,” he says.

Society of Medical Doctors in Malawi chairperson Amos Nyaka, who is also an ophthalmologist at Kamuzu Central Hospital says the country has enough capacity to detect suspected cases and that there are about seven facilities set aside for quarantine.

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Saulo diki
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Saulo diki

The country need to lock its boarders completely lock..and needs to ban any trips apart from to essential emergency jobs…and trips to shops..one trip per week by one person..we need to implement measure implemented by italy or North Korea.. but not too late. Before anybody die..all the other countries were slow..the disease started from china it comes via air travel to mai seal the airport . No chinese national ahas an emergency issue to travel to malawi. Completely no. Business ..jobs must stop..better live poor for 50 years than die rich in few weeks. Completely close the boarders..stop the working..clothes… Read more »

Mangochi Kabwafu
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Mangochi Kabwafu

Is the decision guided by science or politics? Old man, can you just gracefully vacate for a more competent government to take over?

Mangochi Kabwafu
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Mangochi Kabwafu

Idiot. Why stopping students from writing/finishing their exams? What are you responding to? No cases yet you close schools. Australia for instance has over a thousand cases and 7 deaths yet schools are still going on. Just trying to run away from elections, WALEMBA M’MADZI.

Nasingwe
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Nasingwe

how about the jam packed hospital wards ,childrens wardd, or you dont know i mean you pitala that its chaos in the flooded ward with 3 to 5 children in one bed? STUPID IDIOTS ARE the medical staff who pretend that one child in a bed protocol when the biggies come for a visit. Asatana inu.. you need to show this man how our kids are sardined on our wards,so he can undersyand that we need rejuvination ,revamp the swamp, otherwise the ministry will keep the all test kits for corona virus to their biggies and families as noone among… Read more »

Kelwero
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Nyekhwe
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Nyekhwe

Good now all politicians and their families will go to hospitals in Malawi and get a first hand look at the sorry state of health care in Malawi

Ma Bra ndi Ma Underwear
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Ma Bra ndi Ma Underwear

The hospitals themselves are overcrowded, how about the markets in cities and small towns, how about the markets along M1, how about your security detail??, how about factory and farm workers etc etc???

Jose
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Jose

Nkhani yabwino bwana president.Tiyeni tithandizane PA za Corona virus.God bless.Amen.

BANDA
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BANDA

Devils in the oppositions have their evil plans halted by Corona-virus. ConCourt judges should now realise that their judgement has been exposed as defined by corruption and evil.

ERUTU
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ERUTU

Phweeeeeeee 🦆

Nasingwe
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Nasingwe

kodi tili ndi ma cases angati so far? ma test kits akupezeka kuti?
strategy yutinji koma