Coronavirus: M’mbelwa urges Mutharika to ban mass gatherings

Inkosi ya Makhosi M’mbelwa V has asked the President Peter Mutharika’s administration to ban public gatherings in Malawi and restrict travel to and from countries affected by the coronavirus.

The traditional leader issued the request in a post on his Facebook page on Sunday.

He commended the Government for its efforts to ensure that the virus does not find its way to Malawi.

“While thanking Government for the precautionary measures put in place, I humbly plead with Government to emulate measures taken by other countries like: restricting (public) overcrowding and banning or restricting travel to and from the affected countries,” said M’mbelwa.

He also noted that in Mzimba – which is under his chieftaincy – there is concern over the spread of the coronavirus in South Africa since there are many people from Mzimba who live and work in South Africa.

He urged Malawians in South Africa to take care in order to prevent the disease.

“In view of this, I am calling on sons and daughters who are in majority in South Africa to take extra caution on the same,” the chief said.

M’mbelwa also pledged to support the government at local level in the fight against the coronavirus.

More than 4,600 people have died and more than 126,000 COVID-19 cases have been recorded globally.

In South Africa, 61 cases have been confirmed and the government has since banned gatherings of more than 100 people.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has also ordered the closure of schools and has imposed a travel ban on foreign nationals from affected countries such as United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and China.