Written by  McDonald Chiwayula
President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has hailed progress being registered in the fight against COVID-19 and has applauded efforts by the corporate world and private citizens in mobilising financial and material resources to be allocated to health facilities across the country.
Dr Lazarus Chakwera, addressing the nation. Dr Lazarus Chakwera, addressing the nation.
Dr Chakwera was speaking Sunday at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe in a televised broadcast to the nation.
In his address, the Malawi leader commended Treasury for heeding  his call and released K17.52 billion for urgent response to the recent spikes of the pandemic experienced in the country.
The President says currently, a total of 100 oxygen cylinders and flow metres have been procured. He has disclosed that negotiations with a supplier for bulk purchase of 1000 of the same medical supplies are on course.
Dr Chakwera has since made some executive orders to expedite processes of mitigating the impact of the pandemic in the country.
“On Friday the Department of Disaster Management Affairs in my office issued further instructions to the bank to transfer the funds to the following clusters: Health, Education, Information, Water Development, Lands, Police Service, Prison Service, National Intelligence, Irrigation and Gender and Social Welfare. 
"I wish to state that the heads of these clusters would be required to submit to my office and release to the public a report of their expenditure every week. I will immediately deal with a cluster that is found to be engaging in wasteful conduct,” said the Malawi leader.
The President affirms that Ministry of Local Government, Malawi Defence Force and Christian Health Association of Malawi (CHAM) will receive their funding today, January 25.
In a bid to cushion economic impact of the pandemic to Malawians who are losing income due to the severity of COVID-19 in the country, the President has ordered that Admarc sell maize at subsidised price this season.
“The Price of maize from Admarc depots should be subsidised this season although this might incur financial losses on our part. This will ensure that those who are losing income generating activities under the current containment measures are guaranteed of food at affordable prices.”
The President also acknowledges patriotic efforts by Society of Medical Doctors which has raised K100 million from the private sector to be channeled towards COVID-19 fight. 
He was quick to highlight selfless spirit by some private citizens who have raised over K50 million for the cause including Malawi Health Care Support UK (Mahecas) which has made a donation of 1000 beds.
However, Dr Chakwera has bemoaned negligence by some boarding schools which released students in contravention of the new containment guidelines.
He has reiterated that all boarding school students be on campus till certified by health personnel saying, “those released by qualified medical practitioners should be kept in isolation for two weeks and be tested before returning to their various schools.”
Summing up, the President has called upon the citizenry to adhere to all guidelines by Ministry of Health and assured the nation that it will take concerted efforts to end the pandemic, “We are in this together!”

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