Coronavirus lockdown would be respected in Malawi


A study on security-related curfews shows that a Covid-19 lockdown would be respected in Malawi if instituted.

The country has recorded 13 cases of the coronavirus and some restrictions have been imposed but a lockdown could be enforced if the situation worsens.

A study which Afrobarometer conducted in 2019 showed that 67 percent of Malawians would support curfews and roadblocks to prevent people from moving around when the country is faced with threats to public security.

“While the survey was conducted before the Covid-19 pandemic threatened Africa, its findings suggest that a coronavirus lockdown, if instituted, would be respected,” Afrobarometer said in a press release on April 9 this year.

According to Afrobarometer, the positive view towards curfews was particularly common in the Southern region where 76 percent supported it.

Urban residents (76%), economically well-off respondents (83%), and those with secondary (70%) or post-secondary (71%) education also said they would welcome a curfew.

However, the survey also revealed major challenges that many Malawians would face in a lockdown.

Nine out of 10 Malawians said their households rely on water from sources outside their homes or compounds while 61 percent of respondents did not have toilets or latrines in their homes or compounds.

Rural and poor Malawians are at a considerable disadvantage when it comes to piped water and toilet facilities as only 3% of rural residents enjoy piped water in their homes or compounds, compared to 39% of city dwellers.

For toilets, the gap is 37% vs. 50%. Similarly, the economically best-off citizens are 10 times as likely as the poorest to have piped water (40% vs. 4%), and twice as likely to have toilets in their homes/compounds (56% vs. 28%).

“Most Malawians rely on water sources and toilet facilities outside their compounds, making it difficult to implement hygiene measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19, such as frequent handwashing,” Afrobarometer said.

Moreover, large majorities of citizens reported going without basic necessities during the previous year, including enough food, medical care, and cash income.

Most Malawians said they went without cash income (95%), without enough food (79%), and without needed medical care (65%) at least once during the previous year, including many who frequently lacked these basic necessities

“These shortages would test Malawians’ ability and resolve to honour a lockdown that they might otherwise consider necessary,” said Afrobarometer.

During the study, the Afrobarometer team in Malawi, led by the Centre for Social Research at the University of Malawi, interviewed 1,200 adult Malawians in November and December 2019.



  1. People who would “respect” isolation are those who do not live in mud huts with refrigerators & running water. To set such expectations on the nation would be discrimination to those living in rural areas.

  2. Public sensitisation and screening mongering accompanied by friendly policing would keep people in door. Law to only only essential places open will limited places to go as only shops will be open and food markets. People can o ly go out to get medicine..groceries/food shopping. Other places will be closed and face prosecution if open. So lack of places to go will make people stay at home. But above all the believe that people r dying and the disease is real u can cut h it from just being near someone who is breathing..they dont have to talk or caught.. some r just careers..the virus is deadly it kills within 3 weeks it recurred artificial oxygen to be mechanically administered and it survives on surface for more that 48 hrs. Why would anyone want to go out. USA and uk had 2 deaths 5 weeks ago now they have almost 8000 /20000 and these countries have trillions of dillar and worth best hospitals and world best research institution and words best economy and high hygiene standards.. the deathrate is twice as diu le in black people as in white people. Why go out uncessarily

  3. What a rubbish study. Curfews are usually at certain hours of the day, usually evening. A lockdown is 24 hrs. Many Malawians get money from trade. If the government aren’t going to give out cash or food, people will risk corona rather tha starve. It’s not about ‘honouring a lockdown’ but about, who can survive a lock down.

  4. I wonder if you are saying this thinking of someone who relies on everyday sales to make a living or you are part of those who thinks about themselves
    Lockdown needs countries whose 85 percent of its population relies on kugula and keep some for a month
    Muli ndi ndalama
    Ma filiji
    Ma galimoto
    Enafe tizikagula kapena kusunga kuti zakudya
    Kuyankhula mopusa kumeneko
    Lockdown ikhale panyumba panu osati dziko lonse

Comments are closed.