In the light of Coronavirus pandemic, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Ben Phiri has disclosed plans to decongest flea markets across the country as one way of adhering to preventive measures against the virus.
The minister made the remarks on Thursday at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre during the official launch of prevention and awareness campaign on coronavirus.
Phiri observed that much as the virus has not hit the country, it is imperative for Malawians to start adhering to preventive measures which among others emphasize on observing social distance.
He said there is congestion in flea markets which needs to be addressed due to the scare of coronavirus that is devastating many nations including our neighbouring countries.
“As such, apart from placing hand washing facilities in the places, plans are at an advanced stage to regulate number of people plying their merchandise in flea markets because we might not know the carrier of COVID 19.
“We will do this by formulating a shift that will be followed by vendors. Meaning that others might wish to sell their merchandise in the morning while some in the afternoon until the ban is lifted,” he said adding: “this will also be applied to industrial companies.”
Phiri who is also a member of a special cabinet committee on COVID 19 instituted by President Mutharika weeks ago, said police will also start patrolling social gathering such as wedding and funerals to ensure that limited number of 100 is observed.
He then called for concerted efforts among different people in order to successfully implement all preventive measures and handle coronavirus should the virus hit the country.
In his remarks, Traditional Authority (TA) Kapeni thanked the minister for stepping up efforts to encourage people to embrace best hygienic practices and also monitor social gathering to prevent coronavirus.
“On our part, we are also doing everything possible to sensitive the subjects on COVID 19. However, we appeal to relevant authorities to try as much as possible to put the messages on coronavirus in vernacular language to ensure that target audience understands,” he said.
Malawi President Professor Peter Mutharika allocated K2.4 billion towards coronavirus management.- By Memory Chatonda