World, Africa

Malawi imposes restrictions to contain COVID-19

Southern African nation records 12,470 cases, 314 deaths so far

Jeffrey Moyo   | 18.01.2021
Malawi imposes restrictions to contain COVID-19

HARARE, Zimbabwe

Malawi’s government Monday announced its first anti-coronavirus restrictions after the country’s president overruled a court ban on lockdowns.

Last year, Malawi defied the path taken by the rest of the African continent in fighting COVID-19 as the Malawian High Court barred the government from confining citizens to their homes.

Last April, judges ruled that there were not enough measures in place to cushion the loss of livelihoods in the poor Southern African country.

Now Malawi is grappling with rising COVID-19 infections.

On Sunday, President Lazarus Chakwera ordered a night curfew, adding that the country’s schools would be closed for 21 days.

As part of new measures, the government banned gatherings and made mask-wearing mandatory for the first time since the pandemic began.

"The time has come to enforce these things for the common good," Chakwera said in an address to the nation.

A country with over 18 million people, Malawi has recorded 12,470 coronavirus cases, with 314 deaths so far.

Over 40% of Malawi’s infections were detected this month, with a record 685 daily cases announced on Sunday.

"The situation is quite desperate," Chakwera said, pledging that $24 million would be set aside to fight the pandemic.

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