Lockdown is a famous precautionary measure that most countries in the world have taken to fight against COVID-19 but it should be done shrewdly.
Malawi has suggested to take the same path. President Peter Mutharika has declared 21 days of Lockdown.
All the regimes in the world imposing Lockdown are coming up with pills to minimise the pain of the situation. Obviously, you can not end the negative effects of the situation (Lockdown) but at least you can strive to alleviate its consequences.
Malawi is an agrarian economy and agricultural activities are at the peak as I am writing. Most Malawians rely on small scale businesses (mostly agricultural based) to feed their bellies and with Government’s Lockdown directive their daily economic activities are paralysed if not halted.
Lockdown needs a country to prepare well. In this view , I mean Pre-Lockdown, Lockdown and Post-Lockdown preparations. Malawi should prepare well in three segments and these are before Lockdown, during the Lockdown and after the Lockdown. It is a must to do so.
The sort of preparations I am referring to here are mainly on the economic deprivation of the country and day to day support to the citizens since within these 21 days of Lockdown their economic activities will not maintain the same promising curve. This will dwindle their contribution to the Gross Domestic Product of the country and support to their symbionts will not be the same.
I am sure Government is ready to support Malawians with essential items and services during this time of Lockdown such as food, intensive medical care and psychosocial support among others. Those are strategies that need to be prioritised if the Lockdown slung needs to hold water.
The country is also supposed to put in place measures to see the minimal disaster on economy after the Lockdown.
Being an agrarian economy, it is important to come up with other measures that will enable perennial farming to seal the economic potholes that are likely to be caused during this period. On this, I can recommend the country to at least start preparing on on how it can use irrigation farming.
The COVID-19 will not be here forever, No! It will go and countries in the world including Malawi should project on how they will overcome the aftermath of the pandemic. That can be done by resorting to methodologies that will enable countries to amplify their ordinary activities to extraordinary ones depending on what economic activities a specific country depends on.
Sub-Suharan Africa countries including Malawi should handle the Lockdown well and prepare for life after COVID-19 pandemic.
May God remove this burden among us.