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Government eases Covid restrictions

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Government, through the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19, has relaxed some of the restrictions it had set in an effort to mitigate the spread of the Covid pandemic.

Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda announced the move in Lilongwe Friday, where she said it is as a result of the reduced strain of the disease.

She disclosed that the decision also follows recommendations for the expert team which comprises officials from her Ministry, College, Kamuzu Colege of Health Sciences and the Public Health Institute of Malawi.

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However, the World Health Organisation has in recent days been urging people not to relent in the fight against the pandemic, pointing out that thousands are still dying every week while 7.9 billion are living through Covid-19.

Among other things, wearing of face masks in public places in the country is no longer mandatory but Chiponda stressed that people still ought to take necessary precaution in order to limit the further spread of the disease.

“Wearing of face masks is no longer mandatory except for public hospitals, refugee camps and prisons which are high risk areas. Though not mandatory, we encourage everyone using public transport to consider wearing a face mask always because of the potential risk in such spaces,” she said.

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Chiponda said there are no longer restrictions on the number of people to attend social gatherings such as weddings, funerals and engagements.

She however encouraged the public to consider social distancing as a safety measure.

For those coming into the country from other jurisdictions, the Health Minister said it remains a requirement to produce a negative Covid-19 test certificate and a vaccination certificate.

Chiponda, however, decried the low uptake of the Covid-19 vaccination despite various sensitisation and awareness efforts.

“We had hoped that by now 50 percent of the people would be fully vaccinated, but statistics stand at around 22 percent which is still low. My plea is that everyone should make a decision to get the jab. We have all types of vaccines in stock,” she added.

As of Thursday, Malawi had 146 active Covid-19 cases with two admissions and the positivity rate stood at 0.5 percent.

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