Minister explains lockdown restrictions: Malawi brings in new curbs to life over Covid-19

Minister of Health Jappie Mhango has outlined strict new measures to tackle the spread of coronavirus during the 21-day nationwide lockdown, including restricting the movement of people in order to minimize the spread of the virus.

Minister of Health Jappie Mhango:  Government will be hoping communities do the right thing without the need for intervention 

Mhango, who is chairperson of a Special Cabinet Committee on Coronavirus established by President Peter Mutharika on March 7, 2020 said before the President’s televised national address on Tuesday that the restrictions would be in place from Saturday and a relaxation of the rules would be considered in three weeks.

The minister said  persons providing essential services and enforcement officers shall be exempted from the application of the lockdown measures as provided under Part 1 of the Schedule to the Public Health Act (Corona Virus Prevention, Containment and Management) Rules 2020.

He said all essential services shall be obtained within the locality of residence.

The new guiadance says  the Councils shall identify and licence persons for supply of essential goods and services to locality markets and shops, the minister disclosed.

“Any person desirous of getting an essential service out of his or her locality shall get a permit from the local government authority or any delegated person to issue such permits by the local government authority,” he said.

“In the same vein, any person desirous of getting an essential service out of his or her district of residence shall get a permit from the Chief Executive Officer or District Commissioner of the local government authority,” added the minister.

Mhango said except for enforcement officers, no person shall be allowed to leave their homes unless they are listed under Rule 11(3) (a) (i) of the Public Health (Corona Virus Prevention, Containment and Management) Rules 2020.

He said all central markets shall be closed but “notwithstanding the generality of the preceding measure, local markets within localities shall remain open from 5:00 am to 6:00 pm on any day.”

The minister said local government authorities shall designate areas as localities for purposes of implementing the lockdown measures.

“During the lockdown all non-essential businesses or services will be suspended pursuant to these measures and Regulation 13(2) of Business Licensing Regulations.,” he said.

According to the minister, the persons to perform an essential service or supply essential goods shall be given a permit by the District Commissioner or the Chief Executive Officer of the Council of the area.

He said any person who breaches these measures commits an offence and shall be liable to a fine as prescribed under the Public Health Act

“We had to take a close, long and hard look at what is happening around us and make hard but yet helpful decisions that will curb the spread of this deadly virus. The more we wait to take action, the more the spread because there is now local transmission in the country,” Mhango said.

These measures represent some of the most far-reaching curbs on personal freedom ever introduced in Malawi in peacetime.

But Mhango said several countries including those near Malawi have already imposed lockdowns which seemingly has worked in curtailing new infections.

The government is also stopping all social events, including weddings, baptisms and other ceremonies – but funerals attended by immediate family members are allowed not more than 50.

Malawi has, so far, 16 confirmed cases of coronavirus, mostly from individuals who arrived in the country from India, United Kingdom and elsewhere. Two deaths associated with COVID-19, the highly infectious respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, have been registered to date.

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Mtete
Mtete
10 months ago

DPP must be smirking with satisfaction. Buying time to rig the coming fresh election. Seen how it’s agent MEC is so active, urging people to go and register so that data goes straight into the rigging scheme?
Ziliko!

phiriwaphiri
10 months ago

fine prevention is better than cure,ask the amricans with all the resources 23,000 thousand coffins may the souls rest in peace. ZODIAK KODI NEWS TO U IS JUST NEGATIVE aboout government? for example manesi ali pa strike, a mtambo a chenjeza boma, mavuto ku kayelekera, magetsi avua,mankhwala avuta, miseu yaonongeka, amula adzudzula boma, mngelo chakwera akuti boma lalephera etc, kodi is that ur taught at school? kodi palibe muona inu chokhudza bom how about this, achakwera apita ku nkhoma kuchipala munalengeza, same issue done by beam and ohers nothing on the news, rbm releases money for security houses kuli ziiiiiiiiiiiii… Read more »

H E Nyaphapi One
10 months ago

So. Can i have Magnum from my local grocery store! I love Magnum – chocolate flavoured ice cream.

Chiombagaga
Chiombagaga
10 months ago

Prevention is better than cure. Malawi being a small country can surely be wiped away by this pandemic. Lockdown is indeed a better measure to curb this pandemic.

Nalingula
Nalingula
10 months ago

If. You are a small business owner you Pay your Employees up to 21 after that ndalama Uzitenga kwayani ….Za May asova….Then there is no guarantee that your business will Survive after this ….Retrenchments ….? There will be many of them. ….Of course there are those who have stollen Billions even if this lockdown lasts for another 5 yrs they Will survive ….

The Sage
The Sage
10 months ago

The best decision was to only lockdown the hotspots Blantyre and Lilongwe, assuming you have been testing vigorously

Yaya Mfiti
10 months ago

inu a ismail tawerenganinso bwino bwino usawerenge mothamanga

Mbonga Matoga
Mbonga Matoga
10 months ago

It is now clear that APM, just want to cling on to power at all cost…..by using coronavirus to run away from the elections. This was a plan that was hatched a long time ago and we saw it coming through the firings of the army general etc. The minister has no powers to put our country under a lock down APM should not hide behind his minister of health, this lock down is illegal and should be challenged in a court of law. The question I have for the DPP govt is this, have you put in place mechanisms… Read more »

Nasingwe
Nasingwe
10 months ago
Reply to  Mbonga Matoga

ndi pa 2 JULY

Kalulu Wadwala
10 months ago

Nanga poti anthu sanamalize kukolora chimnga? Nanga anthu a ku bembeke tomato akagulitsa kuti? Nanga azibusa ziweto asiya kudyetsera? Nanga Akazi oyendayenda omwe amapeza chajudya kudzera sex?nanga ukatenga bwanji chitupa choyendera ku council pomwe mukuti tisayende? Tiuzeni anthu omwe akudwala kumene ali kuti tipewe malo amenewo.mulanatseka ma boarder nthawi yemwe ija bwenzi kuli bwino kuno

Peter
Peter
10 months ago

Answer yourself.?…watch what other countries r doing

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