By Kondwani Chilimunthaka
His Excellency the state president of Malawi Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has declared a State of National Disaster following the devastating increase in the spread of Covid-19 pandemic .
President Chakwera made the declaration in his special address to the nation from Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe in the afternoon of Tuesday January 12,2021with a call for more assistance from the international community, relevant United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations and private sector for uncommon contributions towards the resources needed to meet present challenges of COVID-19 pandemic.
Chakwera said this state of national disaster is a step towards possible declaration of the state of emergency upon consultations with relevant authorities. President Chakwera has also told the nation that he has called for an emergency meeting of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to explore additional measures to be effected immediately in view of the declaration made and other measures on the pandemic.
In his address, president Chakwera who sounded so touched and devastated directed that all national flags fly at half-mast across the country while observing a three-day period of national mourning for the government officials and citizens the country has lost to Covid-19 pandemic. But the president was quick to express his hope that as long as he lives, soon or later the pandemic shall be overcome.
So far Malawi has registered over 2,500 new infections in the past 11 days with over 235 deaths which include 2 of president Chakwera’s cabinet members namely Honorables Lingson Belekanyama and Muhammad Sidik Mia.
May the departed souls rest in peace.