New measures on Covid-19 came into force Saturday

Attorney General Dr Chikosa Silungwe says the new Coronavirus measures which include a ban on public gatherings came into force yesterday.

The Public Health (Corona Virus and Covid-19) Prevention, Containment and Management Rules, 2020, were gazetted on Friday.

Speaking at a press conference held at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe, Silungwe said the rules convey the measures for the country to combat Covid-19.

Kandodo Chiponda

As part of the rules, funerals are restricted to 50 attendees while general public gatherings should have less than 10 people except a meeting of the National Assembly; and meetings convened to discuss COVID-19 interventions.

Places of entertainment such as bars and pubs will only operate between 2 and 8PM but even during this time people will only be allowed to buy and not consume at the same place.

As part of the measures, the Minister of Health is now empowered to lock down an area where there is a rise in Covid-19 cases.

A person causing people to gather will face a fine of K100,000 and three months in jail while people found in public places without a mask will be fined K10,000.

Malawi has recorded 4,624 Coronavirus cases including 143 deaths and 2,329 recoveries. Out of the cases, 1,031 are imported infections and 3,593 are locally transmitted.

Speaking at the press briefing, Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda said the government is doing everything possible to stop the spread of the disease.

“Several interventions have been put in place including surveillance and contact tracing, case management, logistics and supplies, infection prevention and control, risk communication and community engagement, screening of travelers at the point of entries, and increasing laboratory capacity to ensure that COVID-19 testing is available across the country,” she said.