President Peter Mutharika has imposed a nationwide 21-day lockdown which will start from midnight on Saturday, 18th April, 2020 to 9th May, 2020 at midnight due to Coronavirus.
Mutharika said this on Tuesday during a state of nation address after he was briefed by the Health Minister Jappie Mhango on the measures that his ministry has taken to contain Covid-19 which has seen Malawi registering 16 cases and two deaths.
According to Mutharika, the lockdown may be extended beyond 9th May as circumstances warrant.
“My Fellow Malawians, Today, Government has declared a 21 Day Lockdown. It will initially be effective at midnight on Saturday, 18th April, 2020 and it will end on Saturday 9th May, 2020, at midnight.
“The Minister has done so using powers vested in him under the Public Health Act. In his declaration of the lockdown, the Minister outlined specific measures that will be in force during the period of the lockdown.
“I would like to urge you to fully comply with the measures because they are for the good of our country,” reads part of the statement.
The Malawi leader said the decision to impose the lockdown was to prevent more deaths as a result of the virus which has killed thousands of people across the world.
“Many countries across the world have lost many lives. All our neighbouring countries have Coronavirus cases and lives are being lost. If we are not careful, Malawi can lose up to 50, 000 lives. We need to act more now,” he continued.
He further promised Malawians that while the country is on lockdown, his government will continue taking actions that should save lives.
He added that his government will also continue with the recruitment of additional health personnel across the country.
“We have already recruited 626 healthcare workers out of 2000 announced in my previous address. We will also deploy security personnel to provide border security patrols and mounting of road blocks in strategic points country wide and providing Personel Protective Equipment to health facilities in all the districts,” he explained.
He then appealed to all political leaders to join hands in fighting the pandemic, saying no one should take advantage of the suffering of people to politicize Coronavirus.
“This is not a time for politics. This is a time for saving lives. Coronavirus is a real threat. As your President, I will do everything possible for us to save lives. Let us unite to save lives,” he concluded.