Khumbiza Kandodo Chiponda
Finance Minister, Felix Mlusu, on Wednesday defended increased budgetary provisions towards Covid-19 fight despite the number of confirmed cases of the pandemic going down in the country.
Mlusu was responding to a question from Chiradzulu West MP, Matthews Ngwale, who wanted to find out why Malawi is still accounting heavily for Covid-19.
In the 2020/21 National Budget, government has made a provision of K1.33 billion for Covid 19 responses under the Ministry of Health Vote number 310 and the amount is expected to rise to K1.463 billion in 2021/21and K1.609 billion in 2022/23 financial year.
The Finance Minister said although the number of Covid-19 incidences is going down, the economic impact of the pandemic will be with the country for some time.
“That is why we are making provisions for Covid-19 economic impact in future budgets,” Mlusu said.
Health Minister, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, said it is a concern to authorities that the country has dropped the guard down in the wake of Covid-19.
Chiponda said looking at what is happening in other countries in the west, they have been hit by a second wave of the pandemic.
“It is a very big concern to us as a minister and as the Ministry of Health that people have really relaxed and we have let our guard down. For you who has been following what is happening in other countries like China and even the UK, they had better numbers but now they are having a second wave.
“It is a concern to us that as a country, we cannot manage to have that second wave. So it means we are not yet out of the woods,” Chiponda said.
She said it is crucial that Malawi continues to observe preventative measures, including wearing masks and observing social distance.
On Thursday last week, the World Bank warned that Malawi and other Sub Saharan Africa countries face a long road to economic recovery from the Covid 19 pandemic.
The Brettonwoods institution also warned countries against letting their guard down, saying the Covid-19 pandemic is not yet over although there has been a slowdown in new recorded cases.
In its Africa Pulse the World Bank said Malawi and other African countries need sound economic policies to pave the road to recovery.
As of Wednesday morning, Malawi had recorded a total of 5827 confirmed Covid-19 cases of which 4688 had recovered and 181 had died.