Malawi Government Closes Borders For Next 14 Days Amid Surge In Coronavirus Cases
Malawi government on Wednesday closed the country’s border for the next 14 days following a new surge in coronavirus cases, reported Anadolu Agency.
During a news briefing, Information Minister Gospel Kazako only Malawians deported from other countries, essential services personnel and traffic carrying essentials like fuel and medicines would be allowed through the borders. He said those returning to the country would be required to go into mandatory isolation facilities at airports.
“The only people who will be allowed through the entry border posts are Malawians deported from other countries, those returning home and providers of essential services,” Kazako said at a news briefing.
The Malawi minister said the southeastern African nation has also restricted public gatherings to 100 people.
He also announced that Labour Minister Ken Kandodo has been hospitalized in the capital Lilongwe after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, where he reported to be in stable condition.
Dr. John Phuka, chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, said the committee has recommended the closure of Malawi borders for the next two weeks to control the spread of imported COVID-19 cases.
“The taskforce is so far shocked with the fast rise in COVID-19 cases most of which are imported,” he said.
Malawi reported its first case of COVID-19 on April 2. After nearly two months without new positive cases, 46 new infections were recorded on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections to 6,248, with 187 deaths, according to the health ministry. The country’s borders and airports reopened in October as positive cases fell.
Dr. Phuka said the imported cases were identified among 302 Malawians who returned from South Africa last week.
However, the country did not impose an initially planned lockdown, following public outcry that led to a court order that blocked the implementation of a 21-day national lockdown.