By Duncan Mlanjira
Malawi Police Service has issued a statement strongly reminding people from disregarding COVID-19 rules and regulation enforcement, saying public gatherings of more than 100 individuals is still prohibited and that seating capacity in public transport should still not exceed 60% of the seats.
The statement by public relations officer, Senior Superintendent James Kadadzera says it has been noted that some quarters of the society are approaching the COVID-19 Prevention, Containment and Management rules and regulations with laxity though they are still enforceable.
“As already indicated in our previous press statement on the same topic, the Service and all concerned stakeholders are continuing with awareness campaigns for the people to be complying with the rules and regulations to protect themselves and others against COVID-19.
“The Service is repeatedly assuring Malawians of its commitment to servicing the public according to la and without infringing on their rights,” said the statement.
Co-chairperson of the presidential task force on COVID-19, Dr. John Phuka — in his daily updates — keeps reminding the public not to drop their guard but continue to observe the preventive measures that are still in force.
In his Monday’s situation report, Dr. Phuka said Malawi registered three new cases, 12 new recoveries and no new deaths from 161 tests that were conducted in the past 24 hours.
The new cases are locally transmitted infections — two are from Blantyre Health District and one from Lilongwe Health District.
Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 5,824 cases including 180 deaths and of these cases, 1,159 are imported infections and 4,665 are locally transmitted.
Cumulatively, 4,659 cases have now recovered bringing the total number of active cases to 985.
Dr. Phuka says the continuing drop in the number of cases being recorded gives the hope that if people continue to practice and adhere to all preventive and containment measures, the country can completely reduce the new infections.
“As the schools are fully opened from today, let me emphasize that on the use of cloth masks by children, those aged up to five years should not wear masks for source control.
“Children aged 6 to 11 years could wear a mask based on the child’s capacity to comply with the appropriate use of masks and availability of appropriate adult supervision while children aged 12 years and above should wear mask based on the same guidance as adults.
“As a precautionary measure, irrespective of age, children with severe cognitive or respiratory impairments who have difficulties tolerating a mask should not wear masks.”
He applauded those that have taken up the wearing of mask seriously and encourages the public to wear a cloth mask always whenever they are going into crowded places.
“Compliance with other measures including physical distancing, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and adequate ventilation in indoor settings is essential for reducing the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
“Watch your distance! Wash your hands! Wear your mask! Stay safe!” he said.