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Two Malawi Cabinet ministers die of COVID-19

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In Summary
  • President declares three days of national mourning.
  • The two ministers were senior members of the Malawi Congress Party

Two Cabinet Ministers in Malawi have died of COVID-19.

Transport Minister Sidik Mia and Local Government Minister Lingson Berekanyama succumbed to the disease within two hours of each other.

Their deaths follow those of Francis Perekamoyo, former governor of the country’s Central Bank, and Ernest Kantchentche, principal secretary, Ministry of Information, who also died of COVID-19.

“We presently find ourselves in one of the darkest hours in our nation’s history,” said President Lazarus Chakwera in a statement posted on Twitter.

The government has announced three days of national mourning.

The two ministers were senior members of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), a partner in the alliance that defeated former President Peter Mutharika last June.

Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera.
President Lazarus Chakwera: “We must all rise together and do what the health experts tells us to do.” PHOTO/COURTESY

Over the Christmas period, a cabinet meeting and other political gatherings could have been super spreader events.

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“All 31 of Malawi’s cabinet attended the meeting in the president’s oval office on December 21, and the following day Labour Minister Ken Kandodo reporting having contracted the coronavirus. He has since recovered. Another minister, Rashid Gaffar, is self-isolating at home,” reports AlJazeera.

President Chakwera has summoned an emergency meeting of the COVID-19 task force to arrest the rising cases of deaths and infections.

Malawi has 9,027 coronavirus cases and 235 deaths. “We must all rise together and do what the health experts tells us to do,” President Chakwara said.

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