As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to bite hard, some have questioned government’s capacity to enforce some of the recommended preventive measures.
Despite the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 restricting live public performances and ordering the closure of entertainment places last year, some artists continued to hold live performances while business owners operated night clubs and bars.
But the onset of the new wave of the virus has seen the threat almost doubling. On Tuesday alone, 19 Covid-19 deaths and 373 new cases were recorded.
As of Tuesday, the country had 3084 active cases.
In an interview on Wednesday, Musicians Union of Malawi president Gloria Manong’a said as a union, they are ready to go by government’s directive.
However, she said they will continue to engage government to work on modalities on how they can be helped during the time they will be idle.
Said Manong’a: “As musicians, we are partners with government and that’s why you can see that a number of us have done songs that are carrying messsages on Covid-19 prevention.
“What we want is for government to find a useful and beneficial space for us within their intervention package.”
While owners of some entertainment joints have reacted accordingly to the situation by temporarily closing their places, it remains to be seen if the rest will follow suit.
On Wednesday, owners of one of the growing drinking joints in Blantyre, Tipping Point announced a temporary closure of the venue.
A notice signed by one of the co-directors Martin Chiphwanya said in the wake of the soaring Covid-19 cases, they will be closed from January 12 until further notice.
He said they will be following updates on the pandemic and make a decision in the weeks to come.
But in a separate interview, Ministry of Health spokesperson Joshua Malango said the ministry, in collaboration with other government security agents, will ensure that Malawians adhere to the announced restrictions on public gatherings to the letter.
“It is true there has been some laxity in enforcing previously, but everyone can now appreciate how serious the situation has reached.
“We will not leave any stone unturned and if we find anyone contravening the laws, they will face the music,” he said.
In his address on Tuesday afternoon, President Lazarus Chakwera declared Malawi a State of National Disaster while also indicating the possibility of migrating to a State of Emergency subject to the approval by the Defence and Security Committee of Parliament.