March 1, 2021

Chakwera directs 3 weeks school closure in Malawi

President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera , has directed that all schools will be closed for 3 weeks, but students in boarding schools will remain in their respective campuses until health authorities assess the severity of the infection in those schools to determine whether it is safe for those students to go home.

President Dr. Chakwera has also directed that those writing Form 4 Examinations will continue writing their exams in the remaining weeks, saying during this time of containment in boarding schools, the Taskforce will provide additional support to the schools to manage the students’ transition there, including communication with their guardians and parents.

He said Malawians must all accept that the country’s health facilities do not have the capacity to treat the number of people being infected, because of decades of neglect and plunder in the health sector, saying this pandemic has found Malawians at a time when their hospitals and clinics are in a sorry state.

In his national address to the nation on Sunday evening, President Dr. Chakwera , asked Malawians to all accept that Covid-19 is here, that it will be here for some time, that it is real and that it kills, advising those talking about this virus like it is far away or like it will magically disappear to stop.

President Dr. Chakwera said Malawians must all accept that as a country they do not have unlimited amounts of money to do whatever they fancy saying the luxury of living in fantasyland is one they do not have, they must make all have their decisions within the reality of their situation.

He said Malawians must all accept that the scale of the pandemic demands a change of priorities, saying there are some who are still obsessed with politics, some who are still obsessed with cabinet appointment and reshuffles and some who are still obsessed with campaign promises that hemade on assumptions, saying only foolish captain of the ship would insist maintaining the same course.

The President said Malawians must all accept that this virus is being spread by their behavior, no matter how many policies, or law–enforcement protocol , or treatment programs the government puts in place, the virus will continue to spread and kill the most vulnerable among them if their behavior does not change.

…….’’It is only by accepting those contextual realities and ending the selfish and careless behaviours fuelling the pandemic at individual and communal levels that the government policies and strategies I have outlined can give us a fighting chance,’’……said Dr. Chakwera.

He applauded the efforts of private citizens who are already running capital campaigns to raise money to go towards these need, calling on private companies to follow this example and practice their corporate social responsibility in this critical hour, saying if the Malawian people have been there for their business and given their company profits, they own the Malawian life–saving support during this dark hour, Malawi need all hands on deck.

President Dr. Chakwera then expressed trust that Malawians will change and call out others around them, who are not compliant that they must be their brother’s and sister’s saying time has come to enforce preventive and behaviours like wearing masks, washing hands, and complying with safety protocols, for the common good.

By Vincent Gunde

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