Malawians of Asian origin in Blantyre and Zomba have announced a 14-day partial community lockdown which started at midnight to protect themselves from contracting the new coronavirus (Covid-19).
So far, the virus has claimed one life and infected seven others in the country.
The Asian community members, under the banner Asian Business Community (ABC), have since come up with 11 guidelines which they are required to follow in their respective communities to avoid the further spread of the virus.
A statement signed by ABC Covid-19 Taskforce chairperson Faizal Aboo, which The Nation has seen, says those who will violate the guidelines will be punished or fined K500 000.
Reads the statement in part: “While we appreciate that the directive may be challenging for some and may affect our lifestyle in one way or another, it is important to state that we reached this decision only after lengthy consultations with medical professionals. We are doing this in the best interest of us all.
“Any member of the society found violating the partial community lockdown without a valid reason, strict action by community elders will be taken against them, including a penalty of K500 000.”
Among other things, the 11 guidelines urge every ABC member aged over 53 to remain indoors during the duration of the partial lockdown. In addition, all ABC members with underlying health conditions will also not be allowed to go out of their homes.
ABC has also called on its members to send all their domestic workers aged over 53 and above on a 14-day paid leave.
Meanwhile, Special Cabinet Committee on Covid-19 chairperson Jappie Mhango has commended the grouping, saying the decision is what is supposed to be done if the country is to fight the spread of the virus.
On March 20 this year, President Peter Mutharika declared the country a State of Disaster.
For the past three days, there has been no additional recorded Covid-19 case in the country.