Malawi to close schools, bars to shut early

MALAWI’S schools are to shut for at least 15 days, and all bars must close at 8 p.m., under new coronavirus restrictions announced by President Lazarus Chakwera in a television address.

After reporting no positive cases for almost two months, the country has seen a sudden resurgence in coronavirus cases since the middle of last month.

The new measures concerning schools and bars will take effect from Monday.

Chakwera also said the government has allocated an additional 1.6 billion kwacha ($2.10 million) in funds to be spent on recruiting frontline healthcare workers, 1,000 intensive care unit beds and 1,000 oxygen cylinders among other requirements.

The country of 19 million people has reported 12,470 cases of COVID-19 and 314 deaths since the pandemic began last year.

Chakwere said a third of those deaths were reported in the past 16 days, forcing the government to seek additional funding to contain the pandemic at a time when the country is in 4.1 trillion kwacha ($5.37 billion) of debt.

Last week the government reported that two senior cabinet ministers and two other high-profile members of the government had died from COVID-19.



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