We cannot lock down Malawi – Chakwera

… cancels Independence celebrations, moves inauguration ceremony to KB

President Lazarus Chakwera says Malawi cannot have a western-style lockdown because people in the country have to look for food every day.

Speaking at a press briefing on Coronavirus on Sunday, Chakwera said it is difficult to implement a 100 percent lockdown in Malawi even though Coronavirus cases are rising.

“You cannot have a 100 percent lockdown in all our villages and towns. You know that we are people given to subsistence living. And this demands that we find food on a daily basis. So we can’t have a lockdown as implemented in some nations in the West or the East. We will make sure that whatever measures we follow, Malawians should not suffer because Malawians need help,” said Chakwera.

Meanwhile, the Government has cancelled the Independence celebrations which were expected to be held at Bingu National Stadium.  The celebrations were scheduled to take place together with Chakwera’s inauguration ceremony which has since been moved to Kamuzu Barracks.

Chakwera said the inauguration ceremony will be attended by a small audience of 100 people and attendance will be strictly by invitation.

“I therefore urge all members of the public who were planning to travel to the capital for the celebrations to cancel their travel plans accordingly,” said Chakwera.

He added that the money saved from the cancellation will be channeled towards the fight against the Coronavirus.

The Malawi leader then urged Malawians to follow preventive measures such as washing hands every hour, maintaining social distance of one metre wearing masks and limiting travel.

Malawi has so far 1613 Coronavirus cases, including 17 deaths and 317 recoveries.