President Lazarus Chakwera has expressed concern that millions of people in the country’s cities and border districts are behaving as if there is no pandemic.
During a national address focusing on Coronavirus on Saturday, the Malawi leader said people are not wearing masks, washing hands or observing social distancing.
“At present, the fiercest outbreaks of the virus are occurring in the urban areas of Blantyre, Zomba, Lilongwe, and Mzuzu, as well as in the districts that are along the borders with neighboring countries, and yet surprisingly, there are millions of people in these places ignoring the three simple rules of prevention,” he said.
He reminded Malawians that while health workers and health facilities are the last line of defense against Covid-19, each individual is the first line of defense.
Chakwera said each individual has the power to act in ways that help the pandemic to spread or that stop it from spreading.
“Where there are insufficient testing kits, the government can scale up testing kits and testing sites; where health workers need more supplies. But there are limits to what the government can do, and one of those limits is that the government must never be allowed or expected to do what the citizen ought to,” he said.
He urged parents to protect their children from exposure to the virus by enforcing the prevention rules. He also encouraged businesses to protect customers by providing facilities for sanitizing their hands and requiring them to wear a mask and observe social distancing.
The Malawi leader further urged minibus operators to protect their customers by refusing to carry any passengers who are not wearing a mask and whose hands have not been sanitized.
“This is a fight for all of us, and I am confident that just as you hold the government accountable for its duty, you will hold each other accountable for yours,” he said.
He added that the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice are working on providing a law that will enforce the prevention measures and punish those found in violation.
Malawi has recorded 4186 cases, including 120 deaths and 1914 recoveries.