Over the next few months, hundreds if not thousands of Malawi may die. A vast majority of those deaths could have been prevented if the country had stuck to internationally recognized scientifically proven COVID-19 mitigation principles.
While social distancing and lockdowns do not entirely eliminate the epidemic, there is a general agreement now that such measures can keep infections at a rate low enough for hospitals to handle the epidemic properly. In the words of the top American national infection’s czar, lockdowns can help to “flatten the curve”.
The previous government imposed a lockdown early enough in the epidemic and had a real chance of slowing the disease considerably. The current president, then an opposition leader, teamed up with HRDC and fought strongly against the lockdown. A judge issued an injunction against the lockdown.
Then, there were the elections. After having insisted to have the elections proceed in spite of the national emergency, people started campaign in large gatherings and rallies that culminated into exceptionally long voting lines.
All these factors have led to the skyrocketing infection rates currently being seen in Malawi. As now I write lots of infections are being reported at banks and hospitals in Blantyre, parliament buildings in Lilongwe, and in many other areas of the country.
Here is a curious question: What plan has the president proposed so far to combat the epidemic? NOTHING!
On the contrary, he has done things that appear to move the situation in the wrong direction. In his inaugural presidential press conference, the president ruled out a lockdown. In doing so he spoke against all known science on the subject. He offered no alternative.
His first major action on the subject came yesterday when he instructed his new attorney general to stop the Coronavirus Task force from enforcing restrictions that were intended to protect the country. Having