Malawi President announces 21-day lockdown to fight COVID-19

President Peter Mutharika has announced that government will enforce three weeks lockdown as a new measure to combat further spread of Coronavirus in the country.

During a Televised National address on Malawi’s Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) on Tuesday night, Mutharika said the lockdown will be effective from Saturday 18th April through 9th May 2020.

The President has therefore called on the country to comply with the lockdown measures saying they are for the good of the country.

“This lockdown maybe extended beyond 9th May as circumstances warrant,” said Mutharika

Mutharika said the lockdown has come after Minister of Health Jappie Mhango has published a notice in the Malawi gazette- a government publication that contains the formal public notices that are requires by law- using powers vested in him under the Public Health Act.

The president has therefore called on leaders of Political parties to join hands in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said fighting Coronavirus is a challenging and expensive war to everyone everywhere as the Malawi Nation needs about MK150billion (About USD2.8 million) to ably implement the National COVID-19 preparedness and Response Plan.

He said among other measures the country has deployed security personnel to provide security and mount roadblocks in strategic points, as well as providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to health facilities in all districts and conducting awareness to ensure members of the public are well informed.

In his declaration of the lockdown, the health Minister said movements in and out of the country is suspended, cultural activities, Private transport, sporting activities, public eating places among other public gatherings.

The Minister further announced closure of central markets, pubs, bars, hardware shops, lodges, salons, non-food stores, garages among others.

Other services allowed but with precautions include locational markets, which shall be allowed to open around 5am and close by 6pm, supermarkets, construction sites, liquor stores (strictly take away), funeral gatherings, and Media houses, among others.

Meanwhile, Malawi has 16 cases of coronavirus with 2 deaths.

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