MALAWI. Lilongwe: Two of the Cabinet Ministers in the Malawi government have died of COVID-19.
This is the first time the country would be recording the death of two of its highest-ranking officials in President Lazarus Chakwera’s cabinet.
Transcontinental Times had earlier reported that the Minister of Transport, Sidik Mia, and the Minister of Local government, Lingson Belekanyama have contacted the virus among other cabinet ministers.
Belekanyama, a key and long-serving member of the ruling Malawi Congress Party ( MCP) lost the battle to the pandemic on the morning of January 12.
The State Media and Information Minister, Gospel Kazako confirmed the deaths. Kazako’s third in command, Ernest Kamtcheche, who was Principal Secretary in the information Ministry had died on the 11th.
It was the day Malawi reached 245 deaths since the pandemic reached the southern African country.
On January 12, a former Parliamentarian and Advisor to ex-president Joyce Banda had also died of the disease.
This is in addition to a well known traditional leader known as Njolomole. Mia and Belekanyama had been admitted at the COVID-19 treatment centers in Queen Elizabeth and Kamuzu Central hospitals in Blantyre and Lilongwe respectively.
They are the country’s biggest referral hospitals.
A Nation Under Siege
A well-known epidemiologist, Titus Divala says the new wave of COVID-19 rocking Malawi, could be a new variant, not merely a new insurgent.
“The Coronavirus goes weaker with time. This second coming was supposed to be weaker. That is not the case. It could be the one spotted in South Africa. If we don’t watch out for unnecessary travel, we are heading for a crisis,” he told a private media house.