Malawi Govt Gets Tough With Covid-19 Measures As Fears Grips Over Rising Cases

8 January 2021

The Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 has said government will now enforce a requirement that no one is seen in public space without a face mask on and Malawi police will enforce the restrictions on opening and closing times for pubs as well as public gatherings and transport service to observe the carrying capacity that had been put in place.

Briefing journalists in Lilongwe on Thursday, Minister of Health Khumbize Kadondo Chiponda, who is also Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 co-chairperson, noted with concern the increase in numbers on Covid-19 cases hence the strict enforcement of the measures in order to contain the further spread of the virus.

"Staring from today, Government is going to strictly enforce Covid-19 prevention measures as gazetted last year and nothing will change.

"We will make sure that everyone is taking part in preventing and containing further spread of Coronavirus," Chiponda said.

Chiponda said the rising cases of the virus have seen the country exhausting 50 percent of isolation facilities space.

She disclosed that as one way of preventing the spread of the virus, Government has found a place at Mapanga Police Training School where all people coming from South Africa will be quarantined.

"All returnees from South Africa, if found positive, will be quarantine at Mapanga Police Training isolation centre," Chiponda said.

Meanwhile, Government has increased the number of testing centres where people can go for testing.

Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Charles Kalemba, said all public places are directed to put and enforce Covid-19 prevention measures.

"We are enforcing wearing of face masks and use of hand washing facilities with soap at all times in public service institutions.

"Trading premises including mobile markets and on road side vending sites need to have water and sanitation buckets at all times. All gatherings including church services and weddings among others, should not exceed 100 people," Kalemba said.

All bottle stores, pubs, bars and clubs shall be open from 14:00hrs to 20:00hrs for take aways only.

Dead bodies shall be laid to rest within 24hrs and no communal preparation of food shall be allowed during funeral ceremonies.

Since the breakout of Coronavirus, Malawi has recorded 7, 611 Covid-19 cases of with 203 deaths.

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