Minister Mhango prescribes Malawi lockdown measures

Minister of Health, Jappies Mhango,  chairing he Special Cabinet Committee on Coronavirus  (Covid-19) has outlined a range of new tough measures to ensure enforcement of the lockdown effective at midnight on Saturday,  including restricting the movement of people in order to minimize the spread of the virus.

Minister of Heealth Jappie Mhango who declared Covid-19 lockdown has outlined a list of measures the Malawi public must comply to, to curb the spread of the virus.- Photo by Lisa Kadango, Mana

Mhango told a news conference on Thursday that

that he decalred a lockdown in exercise of the powers under Rule 11 of the Public Health (Corona Virus Prevention, Containment and Management) Rules 2020.

He said in light of the lockdown declaration  all drinking joints, cultural festivals and weddings are banned during the 21-days lockdown  up to May 9 2020.

Meetings of more than 10 people will be prohibited and that hotels will have room services only.

He also said religious gatherings will be allowed with not more than 10 people.

On funerals, the Minister of Health said people should follow all funeral arrangements as provided with not more than 50 people present who will also be observing social distancing.

“In this case, observation of Covid-19 sanitary and hygienic measures is a requirement at all funerals. Funeral ceremonies shall be conducted in the shortest time possible,” said Mhango.

The minister said the public transport – minibuses, tricycles, taxis, bicycles and motorcycles and taxis – will only be allowed primarily to offer services to essential services staff and cater for emergencies from 5am to 9.am in the mornings, and from 4pm to 7pm in the evenings.

“No public transport vehicle shall be allowed to loiter or linger around for passengers outside these hours,” said Mhango.

The minister said air transport services remain suspended with the exception of supplies for essential goods and services and returning passengers.

In all cases, air transport services shall be offered with prior arrangements with the Minister.

Locomotive passenger transport shall be allowed to operate between Liwonde and Nayuchi only.

However, locomotive goods transport shall continue operating without any restrictions but shall follow Covid-19 sanitary and hygienic measures.

Water transport services will only operate between Nkhatabay and Likoma.

Construction works are suspended except under the following conditions:

  • A camp is provided at the construction site for construction workers so that the workers are isolated from the public during the lockdown;
  • Where a camp is not provided for on site, transport is provided for workers to travel from a camp to the construction site; or
  • The works involve the operation of a single operator machine or plant at the construction site.

The minister said harvesting of crops will be allowed within prescribed hours and with strict observance of sanitary and hygienic conditions.

Grazing of livestock is also allowed  within prescribed hours and with strict observance of sanitary and hygienic conditions.

Maize mills will also be operating  within prescribed hours and with strict observance of sanitary and hygienic conditions.

Mhango said marketing of agricultural products including tobacco auction floors will go on as normal.

The minister said the lockdown  measures  shall be enforced by Malawi Defence Force, the police and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services shall be deployed to ensure strict compliance.

He also said the Local Councils remain empowered under the Public Health Act to commence civil and criminal proceedings in order to enforce the measures prescribed under these Rules.

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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alex Chiwaka
alex Chiwaka
10 months ago

Whats the situation with home made masks in Malawi? Am sure funds can be raised to hire “tailors” throughout malawi to make home made masks for the public.

Grace
Grace
10 months ago

Malawians should sacrifice because COVID19 is a matter of live and death. One can survive on water even for two weeks but in two weeks COVID19 may claim millions of lives. If Malawians want to be safe, do not postpone or delay actions. Lengthy debates may not be helpful at this moment. In Uganda we have left Govt to direct us and we know that, hard as it it is ,, it is for our own good.. 21 more days of lock up ends on 5th may and I know we shall all be alive. We have had 55 cases,,… Read more »

Concerned
Concerned
10 months ago

The no of cases in Malawi is very small at present and it could be easy to prevent the virus spreading if contact tracing and testing and isolating was done efficiently.
Does Malawi have the resources to do that if so thats what the Hon Minister should be concentrating on.

Mpakateni
10 months ago

A Malawi atopa nanu anthu inu. Nzeru mulibe, nzeru zanu ndi zakuba basi.

Nasingwe
Nasingwe
10 months ago

they got a nerve to put a flag on their desks. dude we know you are in Mw!!!! do ypu think this necessary???

Honey
Honey
10 months ago

this is more than rubbish how can a full man make these restrictions nonsense when he is fully aware that we malawian depends on hand to month eish God please come

Mwana wa ku Makwasa
Mwana wa ku Makwasa
10 months ago

Malawi govt full of imbeciles.
jahova will fire you all.

Faith
Faith
10 months ago

Uli phwii kudya ndalama za covid.

Herrings Mwanjasi
10 months ago
Reply to  Faith

Malawi government must support people with food during lockdown as we proceed to save our country from the pandemic.And this is a fact for our people they live in poverty they must not be just cereblating to lock it.

Nasingwe
Nasingwe
10 months ago

aa kkkkkkk ndiaesa potulutsa ndondomeko 52 pa dzana litali lija ndi vuto aligwetsa usiku wa dzana uja ma measures awowa akanatulukila limodzi? kugula mbeleko mimba isanacitike. takambani!!! we are a laughing stock. inetu mau anga ndomwe aja. GAMR IYI NDI YAIKULU ,OSE MABWANA ATHUWA ACEPA NAZO KUTALI. anangozolowera posing kuti asankhidwa, busy kutibela ndalama, kumapanga ma personal bysiness, ma nyumba, kugula ma truck kukwela tiasikana, azikazi aeni, basi.,kudya kumangofufuma zimimba eeee kupanga long term plans anta sangazithe. ngsti mchacha angakoze plan yanji ya dera let alone dziko,beni phili showbiz man. Beni uve unakapanga ku ma ofesi a ku lilongwe local… Read more »

Mtondowodoka
10 months ago

People will only understand when they start dying. Remember how long it took for people to start abstaining and using condoms. We had funerals everyday and on every corner, that’s how Malawians learn. Let this be Mr minister, you lot have tried your part.Tikayamba kufa azibusa will support the initiative, so will community leaders and the opposition but for now this message will fall on def ears

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