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Minister defends Covid-19 allocation

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CHIPONDA—It is a very big concern

Finance Minister, Felix Mlusu, on Wednesday defended increased budgetary provisions towards Covid-19 despite the number of confirmed cases of the pandemic going down in the country.

Mlusu was responding to a question from Chiradzulu West Member of Parliament Matthews Ngwale who wanted to find out why Malawi is still accounting heavily for the contagion.

In the 2020/21 national budget, government has made a provision of K1.33 billion for Covid-19 responses under the Ministry of Health vote and the amount is expected to rise to K1.463 billion in 2021/22 and K1.609 billion in 2022/23.

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Mlusu said although the numbers of Covid-19 incidences are going down, the economic impact of the pandemic will be with the country for some time.

Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, said it is a concern to authorities that the country has relaxed in terms of preventing the spread of the virus.

“It is a very big concern to me as a minister and as the Ministry of Health that people have really relaxed and we have let our guard down.

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“For you, who have been following what is happening in other countries like China and even the UK, they had better numbers but now they are having a second wave. We cannot manage to have that second wave,” Chiponda said.

She said it is crucial that Malawi continues to observe preventative measures, including wearing face masks and observing social distance.

On Thursday last week, the World Bank warned that Malawi and other Sub-Saharan Africa countries face a long road to economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Bretton Woods institution also warned countries against letting their guard down, saying the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet over although there has been a slowdown in new recorded cases.

In its Africa Pulse the World Bank said Malawi and other African countries need sound economic policies to pave the road to recovery.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Malawi had recorded a total of 5,829 confirmed Covid-19 cases of which 4,723 had recovered while 181 had died.

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