By Duncan Mlanjira
Malawi President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, has directed that a special Cabinet Committee to deal with the global threat of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
A statement from the Chief Secretary to the Government, Lloyd Muhara says the Special Cabinet Committee will be chaired by Minister of Heath and Population, Jappie Mhango and other members are Ministers of Disaster Management Affairs and Public Events; Finance, Economic Planning and Development and Education, Science and Technology; Homeland Security.
Other members are Industry, Trade and Tourism; Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development and Deputy Minister of Defence.
The objective of setting up the Special Cabinet Committee on Coronavirus threat is to assess the impact of the COVID-19 and oversee a Cross-Government response to the threat posed by the COVID-19, says the statement.
Coronavirus is just two hours flight away from Malawi as over 300 people have been tested for the epidemic while another 18, who were in contact with the only diagnosed South African, have been quarantined.
This was reported on Friday by SA Health Minister Zweli Mkhize as quoted by News24Wire.com that currently 18 people have been quarantined.
Mkhize was speaking at the Cowan House Preparatory School in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal, where government officials and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases met with parents whose children attend the school.
Malawi’s Ministry of Health and Population told the media last month that people should not panic on Coronavirus as government is doing everything to ensure the country is spared from the viral infection.
During a media orientation in Blantyre, Malawi Ministry of Health spokesperson, Joshua Malango has said government was working with various stakeholders to make the country a safer place.
He said the joint operation involves Centre for Disease Control and other ministries to make sure Coronavirus doesn’t reach Malawi and urged the public not to panic as “everything is under control.” Malango said.
A report filed by Malawi News Agency quotes Malango as urging the media to report accurately and responsibly on the same so that the public is fed with reliable information, especially on how the virus is spread.
Malawi has very close links with Chinese nationals who are found at every corner of the urban cities where they do various businesses.