By Memory Chatonda, MANA
The Malawi First Lady Professor Gertrude Mutharika has called for people’s strict adherence to set precautionary measures if the country is to successfully keep out the coronavirus.
Mutharika who is also Patron for Beautify Malawi Trust (BEAM) made the remarks on Thursday at Sanjika Palace when she presided over the official launch of coronavirus prevention and awareness campaign in Malawi that will run for a month.
The First Lady said Malawi just like other few countries in the world, is at risk of contracting the virus and that there is need for people to practice all preventive measures to keep themselves safe.
“I feel touched whenever I learn how the virus is devastating countries including South Africa. We thank God that Malawi is spared of coronavirus. However, we should not take this for granted because we are at high risk of contracting the virus any time.
“Let us follow all precautionary measures such as washing hands with soap, avoid hand shake, put on face mask, observe social distance and also use hanky to cover the mouth when coughing. Remember, ‘Prevention is better than cure’,” she said.
Mutharika therefore called for concerted efforts among different stakeholders to help in sensitizing the general public on coronavirus including its preventive measures.
“Coronavirus can attack anyone regardless of age and I am happy to learn that many players including traditional leaders are working tirelessly to sensitise their subjects on COVID-19. This is what we want.
“As BEAM, we are ready to work in collaboration with any stakeholder to take coronavirus messages to as far as hard to reach areas,” she said.
In his remarks, Blantyre City Council Mayor, Wild Ndipo thanked BEAM for being in the forefront to take precautionary measures on coronavirus across the country.
He said the Council is enforcing hygiene practices such as provision of hand-washing facilities in public places, shop entries as well as residential areas.
Ndipo therefore appealed to Blantyre residents to follow the BCC order warning to deal with non compliance of the by-law.
“We will be conducting routine inspection exercises to enforce this order and if anyone is found acting to the contrary, the council will use any piece of legislation to deal with them,” he said.
So far, in Malawi, no coronavirus has been reported despite the virus affecting 46 out of 54 countries in Africa.