The Malawi Government says it will give additional living allowance to all Malawian students affected by the lockdown in Wuhan City, China.
Minister of Health Jappie Mhango, who is also chairperson of the Special Cabinet Committee on Coronavirus, revealed this in a statement on Tuesday.
There are 56 Malawian students who are stuck in Wuhan which is the epicenter of the coronavirus. Mhango said the students will be given support in the form of additional stipend but they will not be evacuated.
“Government will not be evacuating the affected students because the situation has improved for the better and the incident rate is gradually going down,” he said.
Last month, the students asked the government to evacuate them saying they lacked masks, food and water. They added that prices had tripled in the city
“There is panic among us as we don’t know how long we are going to survive. We are also increasingly running out of foodstuffs,” said Bright Chipao, the president of the Association of Malawians in the city.
Minister Mhango’s statement was issued to update the nation on what the government is doing to respond to the threat of a coronavirus outbreak in the country.
He said government has developed a costed preparedness plan and the budget for the plan is about MK2.4 billion.
He added that the Ministry of Health and Population has also put in place a mechanism for laboratory confirmation of the coronavirus in patients who may be suspected of the infection.
Mhango further said that the Ministry of Health is ensuring that hospitals have the capacity to manage patients suspected of coronavirus through training of health workers and provision of drugs and supplies.
The coronavirus outbreak which began in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China has spread to 101 countries across the world.
Over 105,000 cases of the disease have been confirmed cases and over 3,500 deaths have been reported globally.
In China, there have been over 80,000 cases and more than 3000 deaths.
Symptoms of the disease include fever, fatigue, dry cough and headache