By Thumbiko Nyirongo
The Malawi Government on Wednesday launched MK150 Billion National Covid-19 Preparedness and Response Plan with a call to public and private sector to support the plan with resource mobilization
Chairperson of Special Cabinet Committee on Covid-19, Jappie Mhango, Who is also Minister of Health, presided over the launch at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.
The National Response Plan aims at preventing COVID-19 infections and ensures rapid detecting of cases and effectively responding to any COVID-19 outbreak to reduce loss of lives.
In his remarks, Minister Mhango said the global village was at war against the pandemic hence the need to join forces.
“The globe is at war, a war against the disease and also against mis-information and so far the globe is not winning the battle. The disease is testing the resilience of systems in almost all countries including Malawi.
Unfortunately, the globe does not know how long the disease will continue to haunt the earth,” said Mhango
The Minister disclosed that government has only managed to raise MK6.5 Billion (U$9.1 Million) out of MK 150 Billion (U$ 203 Million) and called upon stakeholders to support the plan with resources.
“The resource gap is evidently huge, considering that as of 7th April, 2020, the country had already registered 8 confirmed cases, with one death; and the virus may further spread to most parts of the country owing to the fact that the infected may have made contact with several people before testing positive.
“I therefore, appeal to the donor community, humanitarian partners, the private sector, all stakeholders working in disaster risk management or health sector, the media and the general public to support the resource mobilization process and implementation of this plan.”
United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator, Maria Jose Torres commended Malawi government for launching the plan. She said People should not take coronavirus for granted as it is killing millions of people globally.
“Today, we have taken another turn as cases are spreading around the country, with so far three districts affected – Lilongwe, Blantyre and Chikwawa. Let us all contribute towards up scaling the measures necessary to contain the spread of the virus,”
“ The launch of the Plan today signifies a step in the right direction to coordinate all our efforts and contributions in dealing with coronavirus crisis in Malawi and preventing its escalation.
The scale and speed of the spread of the virus calls for our shared responsibility to address it so that it does not have dire disruptions on the socio-economic aspects of people’s lives in Malawi,” said Torres
Malawi has since runed 200 samples and confirmed eight cases of coronavirus, including one death.
According to World Health Organization, as of Wednesday morning the world registered over 1.3 million cases of Covid-19 and it has killed over 72, OOO people.