Government Urges Muslims to Observe SOPs in Mosques

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Malawi Government has urged Muslims in the country to observe Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) when praying in Mosques.

Addressing the media today in Lilongwe, Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda says all worshipers must always observe SOPs as the country is battling the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

“Mandatory wearing of masks, hand washing facilities, sanitize microphone in use while preaching, church gathering service should not be more than one hour,” Kandodo says.
The Minister of Health adds,” Sitting capacity should be reduced to 50% of capacity but numbers should not exceed 100 outdoors and 50 indoors. Building should have open ventilation, all windows and doors to remain open during service.”

According to Kandodo, all places of worship should have COVID-19 compliance committees which reports to senior management of the church /mosques.

Minister of Health says from 1st June to 6th July 2021, cumulatively Malawi has recorded 3,032 new COVID-19 cases, 62 deaths and the admissions in the treatment units have risen from 10 to 109 during the same period.

The Ministry of Health says this is the highest number being recorded following the reduced numbers since the end of second wave in February 2021.

“The increase in the number of cases and deaths is also being observed globally including the SADC countries, South Africa being most hit and Zambia following similar trends. Globally, as of 6th July 2021, there have been 183,934,913 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 3,985,022 deaths, reported to WHO,” Kandodo says.

Kandodo says cumulatively as of 6th July, Malawi has 37,366 cases including 1,218 deaths (Case Fatality Rate is at 3.26%) and of these cases, 2,465 are imported infections and 34,901 are locally transmitted.

She adds,”Cumulatively, 33,490 cases have now recovered (recovery rate of 89.6%) and 232 were lost to follow-up. This brings the total number of active cases to 2,426. On 5th July, there were 20 new admissions in the treatment units while nine cases were discharged. Currently, a total of 109 active cases are currently hospitalized in our treatment units across the country as of 5th July 2021.”

On testing, the Minister of Health says on 5th July 2021, 1,584 COVID-19 tests were conducted and of these, 1,129 tests were through SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Diagnostic test while the rest were through RT-PCR.

“The positive cases out of the total number tested (past 24 hours) translates to a positivity rate of 19.5% while a weekly positivity rate (seven days moving average) is at 15.9%. Members of the Press, Ladies and Gentlemen let me point it out that the daily and the seven days’ positivity rate has increased from 1.2% and 1.8% as recorded on 1st June 2021. Cumulatively, 275,940 tests have been conducted in the country so far,” Kandodo says.

cumulatively 385,242 and 43,165 people have received the first dose and second dose respectively. The COVID-19 vaccination remain paused as the country has no available doses and a total of 428,407 vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far. Ministry of Health says the next consignment of the vaccine is expected in a fortnight’s (two week’s) time.