Newspaper front pages January 13th, 2021

LILONGWE-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.

Malawi is facing a resurgence in coronavirus cases, with about 30 percent of confirmed infections registered in the past two weeks alone.

On Monday, the country recorded 452 new COVID-19 cases and 10 new deaths, the highest daily average since the first case was confirmed in April, the co-chair of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID, John Phuka, said in a statement.

He said Malawi now had a cumulative total of 9,027 confirmed cases and 235 related deaths. Some 1,852 of the cases were imported cases, mostly from returnees from South Africa, where a new highly contagious variant of the virus was found.

Chakwera has previously blamed the spike on decreased vigilance during the festive season.

“We must all rise together and do what the health experts tells us to do,” Chakwara said in his Tuesday speech.

“Each one of us must wear mask in public, social distance and wash hands … we are fighting for our very lives and our future.”

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