Malawi police storm churches in Balaka, stop prayers to enforce Covid-19 measures

Malawi police in the eastern district of Balaka on Sunday evacuated worshipers from churches as part of measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) following the directive by government banning all public gatherings.

Malawi police raid church in Balaka
Police raided a Catholic church in Balaka after worshippers allegedly breached the coronavirus rules by sitting too close to one another.
Police evicted the congregation

“Police officers came to our church and chased away worshippers. We ended the service abruptly,”  church-goer Elias Tepani told Nyasa Times from Balaka’s Saint Louis Montfort Catholic Church.

Police chased worshipers in churches like Roman Catholic, Anglican, Church of Central Africa Presbytery (CCAP) and Church of Christ .

There are currently 34 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Malawi, with the latest case recorded in northern border district of Karonga on Sunday.

the Eastern Region Police Public Relations Officer Joseph Sauka said as Police they were just enforcing the measures put in place on Covid-19 prevention that all religious gathering be suspended.

“This will apply across the eastern region and it is not only targeting prayer houses, but it includes bars and bottle stores,” he said.

According to police, the churches in Balaka failed to adhere to the personal hygiene and social distance directives.

The law enforcers said they will do everything possible to ensure the government directives on pubic gatherings are adhered to and that will not hesitate to act in cases where they feel otherwise.

Angry worshipers, however, condemned the action saying why did the police allow tobacco market to open and then chase worshipers.

Health watchdog Malawi Equity Health Network (Mhen) executive director George Jobe has appealed to Malawians to embrace the social distancing rule and observe personal hygiene to contain the spread.

However, he said there was need to review government’s measures in handling Covid-19, suggesting that there should be  institutional quarantine for all positive cases to protect the public.

Jobe said while government might be following some international protocols on handling positive cases, it was necessary to ensure that local measures take note of local realities.

“We are proposing that everyone who tests positive— whether with mild or severe conditions—should be put on institutional quarantine,” he said.

The novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, emerged in Wuhan, China last December and has spread  across the world  killing thousands and World Health Organisation declared it a global pandemic.

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Joseph Banda
Joseph Banda
9 months ago

Before publishing this article, did you find out why these Christians had the courage to IGNORE the directives of the Bishops. Do these Christians really Catholics and they understand the teachings of the catholic church in obeying the Bishops. It appears they obey their bishop saulos chilima and trampeze. So these two have borrowed a leaf from MCP to distant the Christians from their beloved Bishops.

Well done our esteemed Police.

chipwika
chipwika
9 months ago
Reply to  Joseph Banda

Why should one with the brains follow everything that cadet bishops say? chindere chakufikapo!

Mtete
Mtete
9 months ago

Why did they do that when the lockdown was suspended? This is chaos at its worst. Regrettably this is one area our police are good at; small things instead of investigating DPP’s wrong doings.

ignatius
9 months ago
Reply to  Mtete

Local down suspension and a directive on small group gatherings are different, prayers can be redesigned and protect the Christians as well

Citizen Number 1
Citizen Number 1
9 months ago

Said Sayid, so you mean tobacco sales and money are more important to you than prayer and seeking God’s mercies? You are part of fulfilling the prophecies and Woe unto you!

Citizen Number 1
Citizen Number 1
9 months ago

If you are enforcing Covi-19 preventive measures, why did you allow DPP to hold a political rally within the same area without disrupting them? You the Police are under satanic leadership ndiye muziona. If this God you are contending with is the one who is the creator of the world and everything, then you are truly doomed to sinking together with whoever sent you to disrupt prayers but letting tobacco sales and DPP rally to proceed! May God’s wrath be upon you and your master who issued such a silly order!

nafundo zalo
nafundo zalo
9 months ago

let alone truck drivers who do
stopovers
and meet people around
why not close boarders.
TIKUTI PALIBE OTULUKATU ZIKAVUTAPO APA

Super power
Super power
9 months ago

Mwapasa, do not vent your failed exercise of lockdown impunity on the Malawi people. with your fellow puppet Army Commander on churches. You will never win. Mark my words. Who was that one who was asking who would mark my words again.
Both of you will be out of the force once we cross the bridge shortly

nafundo zalo
nafundo zalo
9 months ago

kkkkk kukana mutaima pa chalici kumati siinu a polisi.kkkkk mimba thusithusi

Hannah
9 months ago
Reply to  nafundo zalo

Don’t give Catholics a bad name. We are not going to church and even the Pope is not praying with people.

nafundo zalo
nafundo zalo
9 months ago

Mwapasaaaaa kodi exercesing the temporary podition

Tadzi
Tadzi
9 months ago

Kodi paja simukuti Corona spread by droplets. Plz distribute masks ndalama mwalandirazo ndizambiri. Masks are very cheap. The other intervations should come after masking.
When we are burdern we seek our refuge from God in churches. Most of them today follow social distancing, two on each bench, hand washing before and after service. The only part lacking is masking. Enhance masking is the priority intervation.
Koma zoti tizilesana kupemphera ndiye ayi. Kuli bwino tife ndi Corona chifukwa timakapemphera ndipo mzimu ukalowe Ku Parodies kusiyana ndi kukhala ndi moyo ndikupita Ku gahema.

Mabvuto
Mabvuto
9 months ago

So what about the rally that took place in Balaka by DPP and UDF

Yanga
Yanga
9 months ago

What is the point of discovering covid-19 affected persons ,announce numbers and then do nothing about the cases. Just to beef up statitstics that we are together in the global mess. In Europe, America and elsewhere Corona virus is not a means to an end. Let us be serious.

Mapesi
Mapesi
9 months ago
Reply to  Yanga

The way the DPP regime is handling the Covid crisis is baffling, to say the least. In other countries protocols have been publicised regarding who will be tested, how positive people will be handled (quarantine until they can’t infect others), tracing of contacts, wearing of PPEs, procedures for funerals of Covid victims etc. The most shocking case is that of the Nkhotakota man. Why was he tested from such a far away place when he was asymptomatic? Why was he tested in the first place? After he tested positive why was left to roam freely? Why weren’t his immediate family… Read more »

Ida
Ida
9 months ago
Reply to  Mapesi

It’s not only the kk case but the Chikwawa case as well where the patient was left in the village with only two masks.

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