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Malawi’s Covid-19 darkest hour

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Lazarus Chakwera declares state of disaster

President Lazarus Chakwera Tuesday declared a state of national disaster amid the upsurge of Covid-19 cases in the country.

Chakwera has also called for support from stakeholders, including United Nations agencies and development partners.

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He made the declaration in accordance with Section 32(1) of the Disaster Preparedness and Relief Act (1991).

“I, therefore, appeal for more assistance from international community, relevant United Nations agencies, non-governmental organisations and the private sector for uncommon contributions towards the resources needed to meet the present challenge of the pandemic,” he said.

Chakwera said the declaration was but a first step towards a possible declaration of a state of emergency, subject to consultations with members of the Defence and Security Committee of the National Assembly.

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The President also made several directives, one of which being that members of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 convene an emergency meeting to explore additional measures in view of the declaration.

“That meeting will establish a method for measuring and declaring the shifting severity of the pandemic by the use of numerical levels with preventive and curative measures stipulated to guide public awareness and behaviour,” he said.

Chakwera described the demise of Transport Minister Sidik Mia and Local Government Minister Lingson Belekanyama— both of whom were buried Tuesday— as a loss to the nation.

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