I love Malawi. I write to try and influence a bit of positive thinking and change in our politics. But this week all that energy has been drained. Malawi is bleeding, losing its bright and energetic, the wise and the ordinary.
Malawi just like the rest of the world is facing a huge crisis. A crisis that has been in making for over a year now. Nobody has energy to fight. Nobody has power to pretend to have answers. Every morning we are greeted with very bad news. News of death.
Its like the angel of death is flying over our nation every night and choosing who to choose to take back home. The Prophets and religious leaders have absolutely no idea what to tell the congregation. One truth has come out, most of money or miracle claiming prophets were not send by God.
If they were sent by God, they could not have had crossovers or night prayers and expose their congregations to Covid 19. The boom we are seeing now has squarely three groups to blame- those partied hard, those politicians that went into hospitals without masks and those who were pretending they cant pray in their homes but in a bigger group.
Of course Human Rights Defenders Coalition, Honourable Timothy Mtambo, Vice President Saulosi Chilima and Former President Joyce Banda need to be as vocal telling or educating Malawians on the dangers of Covid 19. These are very critical voices that need to be in front of the this battle.
I could feel President Lazarus Chakwera's voice cracking having lost his two friends and workmates on Tuesday. Next time delegate someone to speak, just appear at the event. It helps to be human. My deep condolences to the Cabinet and the President. To the Sidik Mia and Lingson Belekanyama families, God gave and God has taken, his name be praised always.
But we did not need to reach where we are, if Malawians learn to change the way we do things, we always leave it to the last minute. We don't want to change the way we want to do things. More importantly we don't want to listen those we think have different opinion.
I know Tonse Administration is embarrassed especially about Covid. They have been caught off guard. But greatest humans always achieve greater when facing their lowest moments. Malawians have faced the worst and come out stronger.
The first and provable strategy to contain Covid is to restrict movement of people. Not a popular opinion but it has to be done. At this stage we need a minimum of six to eight weeks like Ireland or Germany. Learn from Singapore as well.
Here is how you limit movement-
All persons over 50 years of age and those suffering from chronic illness should stay home.
All students in boarding schools should be tested and quarantined for the same period. Teachers should be tested every two weeks.
Day scholars should be using schools in shifts. Examination classes three times a week and non-exam classes two times a week. Disinfect classes.
Open more testing centres across the country.
Close bars, video shows and churches. No events, even of 10 should not be held for 8 weeks.
Market spaces should expand all traders even if they spill on the roads should be trading at 2m apart, wearing masks. Controllers should be at all entry points to ensure distance, sensitisation and wearing of masks.
Close all Government agencies- recruit more Covid 19 assistants, open 1,000 bed centres in Blantyre, Lilongwe, Zomba and Mzuzu. And 200 per district.
No fuel allocation to anyone to be paid in 2 months, the money should be used for Covid PPE and equipment.
Introduce community disinfection programmes, each village and township to be disinfected once a week.
Recruit all health workers in retirement and students in final years or graduates to beef up personnel.
Close borders and airports for two months, extend where necessary.
Introduce cash transfer for small businesses, those above 60 and tax breaks for industries not firing people.
Encourage digital meetings. Even Covid 19 task force should meet digitally.
This and more would change the course of direction in the next two months. It will peak sometime in February; we should expect more deaths and more sick people. Our healthcare is not prepared at all to manage the crisis.
If we start today, we have six weeks to start reversing the trend. If we don't start today, and waste time and money on meetings or buying flowers for Covid 19 meetings as shown on Wednesday, we will have a crisis nobody will manage.
Dzuka Malawi. Covid 19 is real. Politics wont help us, but leadership. Let us focus on health sector first, the rest of the money spending projects should be postponed until the pandemic eases. A partial lockdown as explained can help us start looking forward to tomorrow.