Malawi government has cancelled the the voter registration exercise for July 2 presidential fresh elections and also banned market days in villages with immediate effect due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Malawi has so far recorded eight cases of Covid-19 with one death and fears are that the number could surge with more testing.
The special Cabinet Committee chairperson Minister of Health, Jappie Mhango said there is need to safeguard “the right to life.”
He said voter registration may aggravate the spread of the virus and hence the decision cancel it.
Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah already conceded that it might be difficult to conduct the polls due to coronavirus pandemic.
She said the outbreak—which has resulted in President Peter Mutharika declaring a State of Disaster—might impact of the process leading to the electoral body failing to conduct the election within the timeframe of 150 days as stipulated by the Constitutional Court (Concourt) on February 3.
Meanwhile, Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi has said the nation should seek divine intervention.
“We need to turn to God,” said Dausi.
He told the news conference that “people should smear themselves with ashes and cry to God to have mercy on Malawi.
“We’re already poor, if it (Coronavirus) spreads we will all die, let’s work together.”