The presidential task force on CoVID-19 has released new measures to take effect from Monday December 20 that bans mass political rally gatherings, attendance of football matches while daily closure of bars is set at 10pm.
Yet this weekend there are four mass gatherings that are potential CoVID-19 spreaders involving the main Tonse Alliance partner, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and United Democratic Front (UDF) coalition.
MCP has organised two mega rallies — one at Masintha Ground and another one at Mitundu Trading Centre in the outskirts of the Lilongwe City while the DPP/UDF rally is scheduled for Njamba Freedom Park this Sunday where former President Peter Mutharika (APM) and UDF leader, Atupele Muluzi are the headliners.
There is also a crowd pulling match — the Airtel Top 8 final on Sunday at the Kamuzu Stadium between Nyasa Big Bullets and Silver Strikers — another potential CoVID-19 virus super spreader.
Co-chairperson of the task force CoVID-19, Khumbize Kandodo-Chiponda, who is also Minister of Health told the media in Lilongwe said following their meeting on Wednesday, political rallies have been banned, while other public gatherings are restricted to 100 and 250 people for indoor and outdoor activities respectively, including weddings, religious gatherings and sporting activities.
She further said that bars will be closing by 10pm, capacity for public transportation is reduced to 60% while borders will remain open but travellers will be expected to produce a negative PCR result and a Covid 19 vaccination certificate.
The Minister disclosed that the total number of Omicron cases in the country has reached 16 as of Wednesday while calling on the public to continue observing preventive measures, saying the spread of the virus is alarming.
She also said mandatory vaccination is to be implemented in January for certain categories including health workers and everyone in the public service and those in the social sector including journalists are also expected to undergo mandatory vaccination.
According to her CoVID-19 situation report of the past 24 hours of Wednesday, the country registered 318 new cases, 122 new recoveries and zero new deaths.
Of the new case, 310 are locally transmitted with Mzimba North as the highest at 114 with Lilongwe second at 95 and 55 from Blantyre.
Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 62,933 cases including 2,310 deaths at case fatality rate of 3.67% while a total of 59,000 cases have now recovered at the rate of 93.75% — bringing the total number of active cases to 1,391.
There were nine new admissions and five new discharges in the treatment units and 16 active cases are currently hospitalised with eight of them being those that are not vaccinated while one is fully vaccinated.
So far, a total of 1,587,487 vaccine doses have been administered and cumulatively 946,691 have received their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine while 356,955 have had their second jab.
Those who have had the one-off Johnson and Johnson are at 283,841 — bringing a total of 640,796 people who are fully vaccinated.
Over the past 24 hours of Wednesday, 9,125 and 2,688 people have received first dose and second of AstraZeneca vaccine respectively.
The Minister said the current disease pattern indicates a speedy transmission of the virus and quick progression of the disease in persons with underlying conditions.
“This has also been echoed by World Health Organisation (WHO), which has indicated that Africa has also clocked the fastest surge in CoVID-19 cases this year.
She quoted the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, as also weighing in to say Africa ‘is at a pivotal moment in this pandemic where complacency is the enemy’.
“So in order to win this battle against CoVID-19, we need to act collectively as individuals and communities. The laxity in following the preventing measures is an exacerbating factor as we incessantly increase our chances of transmission especially if we are found in crowded, unventilated spaces and other social events that we find ourselves in.
“In Malawi, unfortunately, the majority of our population remains and are unwilling to be vaccinated, leaving them without protection, which in the long run is counter-productive.
“May I appeal to all those aged 18 years and above who are not yet vaccinated to please go get the jab for them to be protected as the vaccines are available in all the government and CHAM health facilities including adhoc vaccination sites that are being set up by all the District Health Offices.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :