The Ministry of Health says face masks are now mandatory in Malawi and any person found not wearing a mask in public will be fined.
Chairperson of the Taskforce on Coronavirus John Phuka said on Friday that this follows the gazetting of updated rules regulating the fight against COVID-19 – the Public Health (Coronavirus and Covid-19 Prevention, Containment and Management Rules, 2020).
“With this development, all must take note that wearing of face masks in public area has been declared mandatory and failure to wear a mask in a public area attracts a fine of K10,000.00,” he said.
The new regulation comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) has set aside 7th to 14th August as World Mask Week in an effort to raise awareness and promote the use of mask by the public.
Phuka has since urged people to wear a cloth mask always whenever they are going into crowded places. He said those that are COVID-19 positive must self-isolate and put on a surgical mask always.
“Surgical masks must always be used when taking care of a COVID-19 suspected or positive patients both in health care setting and at home. Health care workers and other frontline workers are advised to strictly follow the Infection Prevention and Control measures at all times,” she said.
Malawi has recorded 4,575 cases including 137 deaths. Of these cases, 1,024 are imported infections and 3,551 are locally transmitted.
A total of 2,184 cases have recovered bringing the total number of active cases to 2,254.