Newly formed Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 has warned politicians to protect themselves and their supporters from contracting novel corona virus (Covid-19), saying the ongoing election campaign gatherings are exposing people to the virus.
Speaking after its maiden meeting in Lilongwe yesterday, the task force said the majority of politicians who are campaigning are advanced in age and vulnerable to contracting the virus. Briefing the media after the meeting, the task force’s co-chairpersons Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Joseph Mwanamvekha and dean of public health at College of Medicine John Phuka said the committee was dismayed with the conduct of politicians.
Phuka said apart from political gatherings, the committee shared a concern on religious gatherings and open markets as other areas which may frustrate the committee’s efforts. He said: “We are challenged with the political gatherings that are clearly against the strategies that we have as a committee on promoting physical and social distancing.” Phuka said the task force will engage both the politicians and concerned stakeholders to ensure a win-win situation. He emphasised that schools will not be open until such a time there is evidence of less risks to the transmission of the virus.
On his part , Mwanamvekha said the task force will be apolitical a move away from the previous one and that all decisions will be made through resolutions and communicated to the public. He said the task force members agreed to be getting K40 000 seating