Major opposition parties in the country have accused the government of what they say copy and paste lockdown to try and curb the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), saying this would hurt the majority Malawians who erk a living from day to day.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson Reverend Maurice Munthali said the lockdown, which takes effect from Saturday midnight, will have severe knock out effect on poor families which rely on daily piece work’s for their daily meal.
“The government needed to consult widely on the matter. They should not have copied and pasted this lockdown without examining its implications,” said Munthali.
Munthali said the lockdown cannot work in what he said subsistence economy like that of Malawi.
UTM Party spokesperson Joseph Chidanti Malunga said the government should have chosen rights measures to prevent the coronavirus.
“Different countries apply different measures. We need our own home grown measures,” he said.
Malawi, which has 16 cases of the coronavirus disease and registered two deaths, s announced a three-week lockdown, joining other southern African countries like South Africa, Angola and Zimbabwe which have previously announced full or partial lockdowns.
Minister of Health and Population Jappie Mhango said the lockdown will be in effect from April 18 to May 9, adding that all non-essential businesses would close and services would stop.
President Peter Mutharika in his national address on Tuesday evening said the country should unite to fight the invisible enemy Covid-19 like a war, which he said is expensive.
“If [we are] not careful, Malawi could lose up to 50,000 lives from COVID-19 [the disease caused by the new coronavirus],” Mutharika said.