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MDF, police speak on lockdown enforcement

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Malawi Defense Force (MDF) and Malawi Police Service (MPS) have cautioned the public against contravening the lockdown measures that President Peter Mutharika and Minister of Health Jappie Mhango announced to control the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

Two people have died in 16 cases that the country registered so far.

MDF commander Peter Namathanga and acting Inspector General of Police Duncan Mwapasa said the security agencies are ready to enforce the lockdown in accordance with the law.

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“We will enforce it in compliance with human rights requirements. In a situation where some people attack the officers, the law permits us to use necessary force to make sure that we apprehend those people,” Mwapasa said.

Mwapasa added that people will be allowed to move within their localities and access essential services and conduct essential businesses from 6 in the morning to 2 o’clock in the afternoon.

On his part, Namathanga stressed that the lockdown simply means people should stay in their homes.

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“Remember contravention of Covid-19 rules constitutes offences that are punishable by law,” he said.

Mutharika and Mhango said persons providing essentials services will be exempted and those that would want to go out should get permission from local authorities.

Meanwhile, healthcare workers at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre Thursday downed their tools demanding improved working conditions amid the outbreak.

The nurses, doctors and clinicians said they would not attend to their patients unless their conditions of service improved.

One of the health workers who declined to be named said among others, the workers are protesting lack of proper training for those who are on the frontline fighting the pandemic.

“Covid-19 is a serious disease which requires that we be in the know of what is happening. We were supposed to be trained on how best to handle such cases so that we protect ourselves and protect the patients,” he said.

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