JB, Chilima question Malawi’s Covid-19 figures

Vice President of Malawi Saulos Chilima and former President Joyce Banda have questioned Malawi’s Coronavirus figures, with Chilima claiming that the government is deliberately importing Coronavirus cases into the country and exaggerating figures.

The two spoke at a Tonse Alliance campaign rally at Gymkhana Ground in Zomba on Saturday, ahead of the 2020 fresh presidential elections.

Chilima who is also Tonse Alliance runningmate, said the government has been inflating numbers of confirmed Covid-19 patients.

“If we say people die from Covid-19, and you have bloated figures saying there are hundreds of Covid-19 patients in Malawi, why are the patients not dying?” questioned Chilima.

He also noted that government has repatriated Malawians from South Africa. On this, he said the Malawians did not have Covid-19 while in South Africa but when they came to Malawi they tested positive.

Chilima also accused the government of letting the returnees to run away from Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre – where they were awaiting to be tested –  so that they should spread the Coronavirus in the city.

“We should not deliberately import the disease so that donors should give us funds and we should steal the money,” said Chilima.

Supporters at the rally

He, however, told his supporters at the jam-packed ground to follow preventive measures in order to avoid contracting the coronavirus since the disease is real,.

Speaking earlier, former President Banda claimed that government has faked Coronavirus figures and in the wards that were constructed for Coronavirus patients, there are no patients.

“I asked around for a hospital where Covid-19 patients have been admitted to, but no one knows,” said Banda.

She then asked the supporters if they know and they said no. She also asked them if they think there are coronavirus cases in Malawi and they responded that there are no cases.

“God has favoured us because we are not suffering from Covid-19,” said Banda.

In Malawi, there 409 registered Covid-19 cases in Malawi. There have been four deaths and 55 recoveries.

To fight the pandemic, government in March announced closed schools and banned public gatherings. But with presidential elections expected to be held this month, politicians are holding campaign rallies where social distancing is not observed.

On Friday, President Peter Mutharika said Malawi should choose whether to hold an election or fight the pandemic.