Malawi closes schools, drafts new COVID-19 guidelines

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Lilongwe - Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera on January 17 closed all schools in the country with immediate effect as a means of curbing the spread of COVID-19.

The Head of State and Government said boarding school pupils would not be allowed to leave the institutions until they were certified new coronavirus-free.

In a national address, President Chakwera said the government was going to publish a set of interventions on how to contain COVID)-19.

“My administration is planning to recruit some more health workers as soon as possible, who will join the health sector and boost up the pace we are taking in the fight.” President Chakwera said.

Nevertheless, President has also said his administration has directed Malawi’s treasury to release K17,52 billion (about US$22,5 million) for the clusters that were established to combat the pandemic.

“I will not accept any delay in the release of the funds from the treasury and I expect this to be done soon,” President Chakwera stressed.

The Malawi leader said so far this year, the country had recorded an average of seven COVID-19 deaths per day and there was need to arrest this.

Among measures expected to be gazetted today are capping business hours to 5pm; and making it an offence punishable with a fine to go out in public without a face mask. All businesses will be closed at 5pm, and alcohol can only be consumed at home.

“This selfish and careless behaviour of not following COVID-19 preventive guidelines must stop,” President Chakwera said.

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