Government U-turns on Covid-19 restrictions

The government has bowed down to pressure from faith community and other quarters who protested some of the rules contained in the recent gazetted Covid-19 regulations.

On August 7, government announced new measures put in place to combat further spread of COVID-19, but some rules such as limitation of public gathering to 10 people received resistance more especially from faith community who vowed not to abide by the directive.

Addressing a press conference in Lilongwe on Thursday, August 18, Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, said the Presidential task force on COVID-19 has agreed to reverse public gathering limit to 100 people from the initial 10.

Kandondo said: “As a listening government we had to sit down and take into consideration observations from our people and that’s why the task force agreed that we continue to allow public gathering to be at 100 but our experts will continue to monitor the spread and impact of the pandemic and upon their guidance if there will be any changes in the new number then it will be communicated.”

She also said the task force has agreed to consider the reopening of airports from the first week of September.

In his remarks, minister of information, Gospel Kazako, said government will keep on monitoring the situation, and should the risk of infection continue to surge, then there will be no choice but revert to the changed rules.

“We will be monitoring the situation and I am sure all of us are going to work very hard so that instead of us lowering the number we should be able to go up and we have all the trust in faith community that they will be of assistance,” said Kazako.

Recently, a civil society organization, Centre for Economic Development Initiatives (CDED), also threatened to drag government to court in protest for the gazetted COVID-19 regulations deeming them as “a kind of copy and pest and they have never taken into consideration the cultural, social and economic aspects of this country”.

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