National Covid-19 Preparedness and Response Plan (March - June 2020)

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The Government of Malawi, in fulfilling its primary role of protecting the lives of its vulnerable citizens during disasters and reducing their exposure to risk through preparedness, led the development of a National Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Preparedness and Response Plan.

Malawi recognizes the serious threat that the on-going COVID-19 global outbreak poses on the country. Global movements and interaction between Malawi and affected countries through travel and trade. Additionally, the novel Coronavirus has been confirmed in several countries outside China which have relations with Malawi. Affected countries are putting in containment measures to control the spread of COVID-19. Countries not yet affected, including Malawi, are also ensuring preventive measures against importation of the disease.

The plan has been developed to establish operational procedures for preparedness and response to COVID-19 based on risks identified by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and other emerging context-based criteria.

This multi-sectoral plan aims to ensure prevention of COVID-19 spread into the country, preparedness and readiness for a timely, consistent and coordinated response in the event of COVID-19 outbreak.

The Preparedness and Response Plan is based on three scenarios- when there is no COVID-19 case, when a COVID-19 case is confirmed (an imported or sporadic case) and when more people are affected by COVID-19 either as clusters or with community transmission.

The plan was developed through the cluster system approach led by the Ministry of Disaster Management Affairs and Public Events and the Ministry of Health. There are 10 operational clusters in the plan namely: Health, Inter-cluster coordination Protection and Social Support, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WaSH), Education, Food Security and Transport and Logistics.

The following have been included as ad hoc clusters: Communication Cluster, Economic Empowerment Cluster and Enforcement Cluster. The Government of Malawi (GoM) through the Ministry of Disaster Management Affairs and Public Events is responsible for the overall coordination while the Ministry of Health is the technical lead for implementation of the plan.