Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda says Malawi has moved to level one of the Covid-19 pandemic saying this is good news and the positive strides can be attributed to the collaborative efforts of all Malawians towards the fight.
Hon. Kandodo Chiponda said people’s behaviors in the Covid-19 fight are Key to success or failure, saying more people relax in adhering to recommended preventive and containment measures such as travel, failure to mask, and adhere to physical distancing.
She called for the need to strictly adhere to the proper wearing of masks, observing physical or social distancing and stepping up their handwashing practices, and getting vaccinated for those that are aged 18 years and above saying the vaccine is the best tool to help in reducing the risk of developing severe disease, risk of hospitalization and deaths due to Covid-19.
Speaking during a media conference in Lilongwe on Friday on the trend of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country, Kandodo Chiponda said no country or region is currently classified as high risk saying no restriction for travel into Malawi as long as inbound travelers produce a negative PCR-based Covid-19 test certificate that is no older than 72 hours on the day of arrival into the country.
Hon. Kandodo Chiponda said limitations for workplaces have been lifted to normal office capacity, public transport carriage have been lifted into the normal capacity of the vehicle BUT subject to observance of recommended general public health preventive measures especially use of face masks, frequent washing hands, use of sanitizers and social distancing.
She said limitations of gatherings (cultural, religious, political, social-cultural, recreation, and hospitality events) have been relaxed with a provision to strongly recommend demand for vaccination certificates and to offer Covid-19 vaccinations at the venue of the events especially at games, political rallies and cultural gatherings.
The Minister said a night curfew has been adjusted to run from 12 midnight to 06;00 hours in the morning, bars, bottle stores, and restaurants must close by 11;00 pm to allow staff to travel back to their homes before the curfew kicks in.
“Let me emphasize the need for all Malawians to strictly adhere to the prescribed level one measures as these will help to suppress and stop the further transmission of the virus in the country,” said Kandodo-Chiponda.
She said the easing of the restrictions should not cause Malawians to relax as the risk of the virus spreading among the people remains high as long as most Malawians are not vaccinated warning Malawians that failing to strictly adhere to these measures put in place, will result in resurgences of the cases and this will lead to stricter measures.
Kandodo-Chiponda urged Malawians to work hard collectively to ensure that Malawi reduce the new confirmed cases of Covid-19 further and get their social and economic lives back to normal.