Blantyre City Council has intensified enforcement of Covid-19 preventive measures amid a spike of cases in the country.
In a statement, the council’s chief executive officer Alfred Chanza said wearing of face masks is mandatory in public places.
The council has also introduced new measures for handling of funerals.
Reads the statement in part: “People shall be expected to wear face masks in public places including markets, sports fields, recreational areas, political rallies, cultural and traditional events, church gatherings and funerals.
“Disposing of dead bodies must be done within 24 hours of death and not beyond noon. Preparation and serving of food during funeral services must stop.”
However, a month ago, the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 said burial can take place within 48 hours.
When asked on the apparent contradiction with the task force, Blantyre City Council spokesperson Anthony Kasunda said they are following the directive from Ministry of Local Government which issued a statement on Friday ordering councils to ensure burial takes place within 24 hours.
Chanza also said they will monitor compliance of Covid-19 restrictions.
On her part, Blantyre District Health Office (DHO) spokesperson Chrissy Banda said they will collaborate with the council to contain the further spread of the disease.
“We are promoting awareness on preventive measures through our press clubs,” she said.
In his remarks, Centre for Development Communication executive director Fred Yiwombe said they will support the council and the DHO to fight the disease.
“We will engage people to change their behaviour so that they realise the importance of observing preventive measures,” he said.
Between August 1 and 8 the country registered 3 573 new Covid-19 cases. Blantyre had the highest number of new cases at 752 followed by Lilongwe with 627 and Mzimba at 284 cases.