Written by  McDonald Chiwayula

President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has committed K17.52 billion to fighting COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, President of Malawi Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, President of Malawi

The Malawi leader disclosed this Sunday at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe in his televised address to the nation on his administration's efforts and aspirations to curb upsurge of the pandemic in the country.


Dr Chakwera said to manage the pandemic and stop it in its tracks there's need for concerted efforts. He said much as Government is doing its part, the corporate world and individuals of goodwill should join the fight through provision of the much needed resources.


He has assured the nation of prudent use and accountability of all COVID-19 funds.



"I have therefore directed the Minister of Finance to allocate K17.52 billion as soon as possible to the COVID-19 Taskforce for distribution to nine clusters to meet the demands of the current disaster. I have also approved the allocation of K100 million to the Christian Hospitals Association of Malawi (CHAM) to supplement the efforts of public hospitals in fighting the pandemic, in addition to the support that Government is giving in the form of wages for CHAM healthcare workers and an additional 150 medical personnel for CHAM facilities. 



"I want to make it clear that I expect no excuses and delays from the Treasury in availing these funds as a matter of urgency. I will entertain no bureaucratic or administrative justifications for delaying the release of these funds to save lives," said Dr Chakwera.


The President says his Vice Dr Saulos Chilima and seven ministerial committees have been working to re-strategise the response to the pandemic and some of the actions to be taken include increasing testing sites from the current 173 to 250, increasing toll free emergency call centres from 5 workstations to 20 and recruitment of an additional 1,380 medical personnel in four different categories at a cost of K1.6 billion over the next four months.


However, he strongly condemned carelessness and selfish behaviours that are accelerating the pandemic in the country.



"As I speak, there are people watching this broadcast in a drinking place, even though the COVID-19 rules require these to be close by 8pm. This selfish and careless behaviour must stop. There are people watching this broadcast surrounded by others with no social distancing. 


"This selfish and careless behaviour must stop.There are people watching this broadcast in a public place without a mask on. This selfish and careless behaviour must stop," warned the Malawi leader.



In his address Dr Chakwera says just this year a total of 5091 have tested positive for COVID-19 across the country with an daily average of 7 deaths hence the call for concerted efforts to curb the pandemic.


Currently schools have closed for three weeks paving way for disinfection exercise.



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