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Malawi cracks down on 'alarming' virus surge

10 Aug 2020, 04:11 GMT+10

Malawi court indefinitely bars virus lockdown

Bars will only be allowed to sell take-out alcohol.

No groups of more than 10 people are allowed, except for funerals with a maximum of 50 people.

Silungwe said an "army of enforcement officers" had been hired to ensure the regulations were followed.

New Information Minister Gospel Kazako said numbers of coronavirus cases "are rising at an alarming rate".

"The problem is big and we must all stand up. Covid-19 is here and killing people," he said Sunday.

Experts had as far back as May sounded the alarm while the country focused on election campaigns, attracting tens of thousands to rallies in the absence of a lockdown.

"Because of the political climate, we had been left to face the unmitigated impact of this pandemic. Even though it has taken long, it is a very essential and necessary measure," said Gama Bandawe, a virologist at the Malawi University of Science and Technology.

President Lazarus Chakwera last month won a historic vote re-run after Arthur Mutharika's re-election was scrapped over rigging.

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