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Government urged to fortify healthcare workforce

MKWEZALAMBA

Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) has appealed to the government to temporarily recruit all healthcare workers who may have been left out to fill the gap that may arise in the event that the country registers coronavirus cases.

So far, Malawi is among very few countries in the world that have not officially registered any case of the contagion that is wreaking havoc across the world.

HRCC has issued a statement, signed by its chairperson Robert Mkwezalamba, in which the organisation says it is concerned that the virus is having effects on people’s attainment of their rights as they are being subjected to several acts in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.

HRCC has also urged the government to immediately engage electoral stakeholders to assess the effects of the coronavirus on the forthcoming presidential election which was ordered by the Constitutional Court in its February 3 judgement.

“Government should [also] consider reducing Value Added Tax (Vat) on essential items and commodities so that they are easily accessible by all including making advance arrangements with major retailers to have their commodities closer to people in readiness of any further impact,” Mkwezalamba said.

In the statement, Mkwezalamba is also asking the government to remove Vat on all Covid-19 related materials as a means of ensuring that they are accessible and cheaper to Malawians.

Secretary-General for Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU), Denis Kalekeni, said MCTU has observed that Covid-19 has serious effects on economies, on work and on workers.

He also appealed to the government to consider scraping off the Pay as You Earn tax to reduce the burden that employers have especially as most of them are not making money to keep them going for days or weeks.

Ministry of Finance spokesperson, Davis Sado, said all proposals that would result into mitigating the economic impacts of the coronavirus would be looked into and implemented where necessary.

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