The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has urged government to close schools and has proposed a partial lockdown, saying the new wave of the Coronavirus pandemic is affecting all age groups.
The grouping has said this in a statement today signed by chairperson Gift Trapence and Coordinator Luke Tembo.
The grouping has argued that the new wave of the pandemic is affecting all age groups in equal measure hence the need to close schools immediately.
Schools are still open in Malawi despite the country registering a rapid rise in Coronavirus cases over the past three weeks.
President Lazarus Chakwera today announced a state of national disaster but did not order the closure of schools. He, however, said additional measures will be announced after an emergency meeting of the Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus.
In its statement, the HRDC has recommended the closure of airports and borders with only essentials being allowed to pass through.
“In the same breath, we call upon the authorities to make sure that institutional quarantine is enforced at any cost,” reads part of the statement.
The grouping has further asked the government to cushion the vulnerable from restrictions which will be implemented due to the pandemic. On this, HRDC has proposed the scaling up of social transfer program and other strategies.
HRDC, which obtained an injunction when the Peter Mutharika administration attempted to lock down the country last year, has proposed a partial lockdown saying government must not shy away from introducing tough measures “as long as it is done in good faith, respect rule of law and is within the tenets of human rights.”
The HRDC has further called for total enforcement of Covid-19 measures and for the strengthening of the health system. According to HRDC, government should increase bed space and procure resources in hospitals, recruit more health workers and improve on contract tracing.
Malawi has recorded over 9,025 and 235 deaths and on Monday 452 new cases were recorded.