Malawi president declares state of national disaster over COVID-19

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 16:04 |
A man wears a face mask in Blantyre, Malawi, March 23, 2020. (Xinhua/Joseph Mizere)

Malawi President Peter Mutharika has declared a state of national disaster in Malawi over COVID-19 and he has since ordered closure of all public and private schools, colleges and universities effective Monday.

 In his special address to the nation Friday evening, Mutharika has also, among other things, restricted public gatherings to less than 100 people.

The restriction also applies to all gatherings including weddings, funerals, religious congregations, rallies and government meeting, among other, while foreign travellers into the country from COVID-19 affected countries has been banned.

"My government has banned travel of foreign nationals from countries highly affected by Coronavirus disease," said the president.

 He said among other things the Ministry of Health and Population is deploying health personnel in all border posts to continue screening and surveillance of people in all entry points.

Mutharika has also advised the general public to avoid non-essential travel to the affected countries.

The Malawi leader has also warned people against false beliefs and myths that the warm climate of Africa is protective against the virus and that black people are immune to the virus.

 Mutharika announced that the government has developed a Response Plan to the total budget of about MK15 billion which is equivalent to 20 million U.S. dollars to mitigate the COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Malawi has not yet registered COVID-19 case but the country's neighbouring countries, Zambia and Tanzania have registered some cases.  (Xinhua)

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