PAC pledges to continue sensitizing Malawians on Covid-19

Quasi-religious grouping, Public Affairs Committee (PAC) has said it is equally concerned with the citizenry’s lack of seriousness in handling the Covid-19 pandemic, saying as faith leaders they will continue supporting the government to make sure that the pandemic is contained.

President Chakwera gives his statement during the meeting with PAC at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana

PAC said during an interface with President Lazarus Chakwera at Sanjika Palace in Malawi’s commercial capital, Blantyre, it was imperative that Malawians, especially those that subscribe to various faith groups, obey pieces of advice from health personnel.

“We will continue sensitizing Malawians on the pandemic,” Monsignor Patrick Thawale, PAC chairman, said.

In his remarks, President Chakwera said “there is need for continued collective effort in sensitizing Malawians on what needs to be done in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.”

President Chakwera (r) with UNICEF Representative Matteo Frontini-(c) Abel Ikiloni, Mana

According to President Chakwera, Malawians still have unanswered questions on the COVID-19 pandemic and its vaccine.

“I, therefore, urge you [our] faith leaders and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to civic educate the citizenry,” he said.

The meeting between PAC and President Chakwera took place a day after Nyasa Times had reported that only 19 people had received the second jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine in two full days.

A cloud of hesitancy continues to hover over thousands of Malawians on whether or not to go for Covid-19 vaccination as revelations indicate that at the close of business on Monday, only 19 people had received the second jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

This was against a total number of over 300 000 people who are recorded to have received the first jab.

on Friday, when the second phase of vaccination was launched and yesterday [Monday, June 7).

Of the 19 vaccinated, two were President Lazarus Chakwera and his deputy Saulos Chilima who received their second jab at the Mtunthama State Residence in the capital Lilongwe in a televised event—to prove its importance and safety.

Adamson Muula, a public health expert and professor at College of Medicine, expressed worry over the low number of people who are receiving the second jab of AstraZeneca vaccine.

According to him, it was expected that a good number of people would have already turned up on the first day of the second phase of the vaccination exercise last Friday—June 3—as over 300 000 Malawians are recorded to have received the first jab.

“There is a need to sensitize people on the importance of receiving the second dose of the vaccine,” Professor Muula had opined.

‘Presidential Encouragement’

President Chakwera and his deputy Chilima, had said after getting vaccinated last Friday that Malawians should go for vaccination to prevent a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Chakwera, the going first to receive the second jab was to dispel misconceptions and fears some Malawians have about the COVID-19 vaccination.

He said: “The AstraZeneca vaccine we are using is a good vaccine whose aim is to protect us from COVID-19. That’s why my vice president and I were the first to have vaccinated in March, and now we want to become the first to have the second jab in public. Our aim is that you should be protected, there is no need to fear.”

Malawi got a total 512,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines in March. The COVAX facility gave Malawi 360,000 doses, the African Union donated 102,000 doses and about 20,000 of those were destroyed last month after they expired. The Indian government donated 50,000 doses.

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