Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera has declared a state of disaster in an address to the nation delivered hours after two cabinet ministers died from COVID-19 amid a spike in coronavirus infections. Transport Minister Sidik Mia and Local Government Minister Lingson Berekanyama both succumbed to the disease in the early hours of Tuesday, the government spokesman said. They were senior members of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the main partner in an alliance that unseated former President Peter Mutharika in June last year. The deaths followed a cabinet meeting and other gatherings attended by politicians over the Christmas period, but officials did not say where the victims were infected. All 31 of Malawi’s cabinet attended the meeting in the president’s oval office on December 21, and the following day Labour Minister Ken Kandodo reporting having contracted the coronavirus. He has since recovered. Another minister, Rashid Gaffar, is self-isolating at home.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA