Covid-19: Malawi’s president takes blame for upsurge in cases

Jan, 12th 2020 – Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera, has taken personal blame for being among those responsible for the recent rise in Covid-19 cases in the country. The president said that there has been a collective sense of relaxation in adherence to Covid prevention measures among many Malawians including himself.

President Lazarus was heavily criticized last week when images and videos circulated showing him and visiting pop musician, Madonna, shaking hands and posing for pictures without wearing masks or observing social distance.

He was also criticized in October when he met his Tanzanian Counterpart John Magufuli during a scheduled three day visit in the country.

Malawi has seen a rise in deaths and number of daily positive cases of Covid-19 in the recent weeks. High profile personalities including singer and broadcaster Maria Chidjanja Nkhoma and the administrative Head for the ministry of Information Ernest Kantchentche have succumbed to the virus.

Malawi president has ordered security forces to help enforce the new Covid-19 prevention measures not excluding closing of bars and clubs at 8pm. The country since last week Thursday has been confirming more cases than ever. On Saturday, Malawi recorded a total of 381 cases with 12 deaths, which is the the largest daily figure since it recorded its first three cases in April.

Chakwera, who is also a pastor said that he would start a 21 day period of fasting and prayer to ask for healing for the country from God. He also noted that a great contribution to the increase in numbers has been the people’s defiance of observing the measures including himself.

He said, “Many of us relaxed our vigilance against the virus and now we are paying the price. We are paying the price because many of us are back to old ways of not wearing masks. Many of us are back to old ways of not maintaining our distance from others. Many of us are back to old ways of not washing our hands regularly. When I say many of us, I am including myself.” 

More than 200 Malawians have succumbed to the virus with at least 30 dying within the past two weeks.

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