President Lazarus Chakwera has said the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines for frontline health workers has delayed for seven days but said the country was on course for roll out of the vaccination process in March with delivery of 1.5 million doses expected this month end.
Chakwera said when he delivered the seventh National Address on the War on Covid-19 at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe that government’s long-term strategy for returning all aspects of the society to normal includes the roll out of a vaccine to protect the general population.
“The African Union’s Envoy on Africa’s Response to Covid-19 has guaranteed us 100,000 vaccines for frontline health workers. Although the delivery of that consignment has been delayed by 7 days, we are on track to receive it by the end of this month along with 1.5 million doses of the vaccine that we expect to receive around the same time,” said Chakwera.
He continued: ” This means that sometime in the month of March, a vaccination program will be rolled out across the country to ensure that this dark night of daily Covid-19 deaths eventually comes to an end.”
Chakwera strongly condemn the recent beating of ambulance drivers and health personnel during their routine delivery of the remains of those who died of Covid-19.
“It is to the credit of our health workers that we are able to bury those who die of Covid-19 in a way that does not expose the living to infection. It is also to their credit that we take comfort in the recovery of 2,861 people in the past week. No attack on our health personnel will be tolerated,” the President said.
Chakwera also commended efforts from several partners, including the Covid-19 Private Citizens Response–an initiative by two Malawians in Diaspora Stanley Onjezani Kenani and Thandiwe Hara Msulira–and others for being part of the solution.
“I commend them for the example they have set to other citizens of how to be part of the solution instead of thinking that Government has all the solutions, as well as the example they have set to those in the Civil Service of how to render a public service in a manner that is accountable and collaborative,” said the Malawi leader.
Chakwera said it has given him “hope” that the civil service systems review team led by Vice-president Saulos Chilima will draw lessons from such private sector initiatives in its quest to redesign the civil service towards greater efficiency and accountability.
The country had registered 30742 positive cases and 1013 deaths as of yesterday.
In the past week, 54 people died of Covid-19 while 2 861 recovered. The positivity rate stood at 15 percent, still higher than the targeted below five percent.