The day of this Tuesday, January 12, 2021 marked the spirits in Malawi. The country faces the death of two ministers in office, on the same day and for the same reason: Covid-19.
One is Minister of Transport and the other is Minister of Local Government in the same government of Malawi. And this Tuesday, January 12, 2021, Sidik Mia and his colleague, Lingson Belekanyama, were struck by lightning as victims of Covid-19. The information was announced this Tuesday by a statement from the Presidency of Malawi which said that « President Lazarus Chakwera is deeply saddened by the death of two important members of the government today, January 12, 2021. For the Malawian Head of State, these deaths constitute an « incalculable loss ».
Sidik Mia and Lingson Belekanyama tested positive for Coronavirus one week and two weeks ago for the former and the latter. On December 21, 2020, the 31 ministers of the Malawian government held a meeting in the office of President Lazarus Chakwera. In the aftermath of this meeting, the Minister of Labour, Ken Kandodo, announced that he was positive for Coronavirus. While he recovered, it is his colleague Rashid Gaffar who isolated himself at home for the same causes; but his condition is considered stable.
While it is not said that it was during this meeting that the two deceased individuals contracted the virus, it is nevertheless clear, in President Chakwera’s own words, that Coronavirus infection rates are increasing in Malawi, due to the laxity observed in barrier gestures. « We are paying the price for the fact that many of us have given up wearing the mask. And when I say many of us, I include myself and the government, » Malawi’s first citizen said in a speech to the nation on Sunday.
As of this date, the country has a total of 9,027 cases of infection, 235 deaths and 5,838 recoveries. Three days of national mourning have been decreed in the country, starting this Tuesday.