Malawi: Joyce Banda Brands Malawi's Coronavirus Response Pathetic

31 March 2020

Former president Joyce Banda has launched a devastating critique of the government's handling of the coronavirus global pandemic, saying lacks transparency and fails to mobilise the public there by missing from the list of countries that will benefit from a US$100 million support.

Joyce Banda: The government doesn't seem to understand classic public health.

Banda said Malawi cannot access support from the global community if it is not testing its citizens to get proper statistics on the coronavirus pandemic.

She lambasted a lack of preparation and openness from the government .

The former Malawi leader suggested in a post on her official Facebook page that the government - which has always insisted that Malawi is yet to record a case of the coronavirus - is hiding figures on the coronavirus.

"The global community cannot assist us when we are hiding our statistics and our challenges to fight the pandemic.

"When there is apparent politicization of this fight and apparent lack of political will to confront this pandemic as a united front regardless of our political and religious affiliations," said Banda.

She accused the government of failing to understand public health, which has been undermined , poiting out that there were no strategies for protecting the vulnerable and there had been a failure to engage the public.

"Other countries in the region provide frequent briefings so that the nation knows what is happening in their countries. As for Kenya, the Minister of Health briefs the nation on daily basis. The written briefs we see each day are not good enough as more than half of our people have no access to this information," said Banda.

On March 11, World Health Organisation announced that Covid-19 was a pandemic.

President Peter Mutharika on March 20 2020 declared the State of Disaster and set up a K15 billion fund to deal with the crisis. He also banned public gatherings and ordered closure of schools as part of drastic measures to cut densification.

Government has also imposed travel ban on foreignersand advise people to practice hygienic measures such as washing hands.

The government has also banned cross-border travel and international flights effective Wednesday this week.

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