Another Malawian Minister Dies of Covid-19

Malawi’s Minister of Transport, Sidik Mia, has died from COVID-19 related disease, presidential spokesman, Brian Banda, said on Tuesday.

Mia’s death comes hours after the East African country lost Minister of Local Government, Lingstone Belekanyama, to the virus.

The deceased were senior members of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the main partner in an alliance that unseated ex-leader Peter Mutharika in a second-round election in June 2020. The alliance had delivered victory to President Lazarus Chakwera.

Banda said the deaths have left President Lazarus Chakwera devastated, adding that the president will address the nation today at 3 pm.

Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako, speaking on his Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS), said today will be an unforgettable day in the history of Malawi because it has never before lost two cabinet ministers in one day.

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“We are going through tough times as a country,” said Kazako ina sad tone.

“We are in a war. We are fighting a virus that cannot be seen by our eyes. Within a space of two hours, we have lost two ministers,” said the government spokesperson.

Kazako said Malawians should not lose hope in fighting the virus pandemic.

”We are not alone in this fight, we have the President who is doing everything possible to fight this pandemic. One day we will overcome this virus,” Kazako said.

Mia through his Facebook account announced that he tested positive for Covid-19 last week. His wife, Abida Mia, who is deputy minister is isolation.

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On Monday Malawi recorded 452 new Covid cases and 10 new deaths, the highest daily average since the first case was confirmed in April, the co-chair of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID, John Phuka, said in a statement.

He said Malawi now had a cumulative total of 9,027 cases and 235 deaths. Some 1,852 of the cases were imported cases, mostly from returnees from South Africa, where a new highly contagious variant of the virus was found.

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