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Government gets tough on Easter celebrations

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James Kadadzera

By Deogratias Mmana:

Easter celebrations set for next week will be spoilt as town, district and city councils have been directed not to allow celebrations or festivities that attract more than 50 people as a coronavirus control measure.

Catholics and Anglicans usually conduct joint Way of the Cross on Good Friday events, which attract big gatherings. Catholics further conduct a night service on Saturday, which also attracts hordes of congregants.

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In other circles, people who love fun organise Easter parties at the lake or places of their choice.

The government has warned that the law will not spare anyone who violates Covid regulations during Easter next week.

The Ministry of Local Government has asked district commissioners and town and city chief executive officers not to permit gatherings of people that exceed 50.

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“The Ministry of Local Government would like to remind all councils that the Public Health Coronavirus and Corona Virus Disease (Prevention, Containment and Management) Regulations of 2020 are still in force and should be used even during this Easter Season,” reads a memo from Secretary for Local Government signed by Charles Makanga dated March 30 2021.

“The ministry further reminds all local authorities that, while observing strict Covid measures, all gatherings that exceed 50 persons are banned. Councils should ensure that they enforce this by not giving permission to such gatherings or festivities.”

As of Tuesday, Malawi had registered 20 new Covid cases and two new deaths.

So far, over 30,000 Covid patients have recovered and over 200,000 tests have been conducted, with over 120,000 people receiving Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine, according to the Ministry of Health.

Meanwhile, National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera has said they have arrested over 900 people for violating Covid regulations such as failing to mask up, not closing bars after 8pm and being found on the road after 9pm.

Kadadzera said law enforcers would increase their visibility on the road and continue checking the capacity of vehicles and ensuring that gatherings, including prayer houses, do not have more than 50 people in one place during Easter.

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