The High Court in Lilongwe has asked the Medical Society of Malawi and Malawi Law Society (MLS) to make written submissions to the court before it determines an injunction that was granted on Covid-19 restrictions.
The court, which has also asked the Women Lawyers Association to do the same, wants the submissions by July 18 2020 for it to make a consideration on the issues within 10 days.
Some concerned citizens, including bottle store owners and Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), obtained an injunction against the ousted Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration when it was in power.
The applicants challenged restrictions the immediate past Peter Mutharika administration issued in the face of the global Covid-19 pandemic.
While that injunction still stands, President Lazarus Chakwera on Friday issued further restrictions, which also include operating hours for bars.
Asked how he intends to approach the issue in view of an existing injunction, Attorney General (AG) Chikosa Silungwe in an interview on Saturday said he needed to study the file to competently comment on the matter.
He said: “[Since my appointment] I will be in office physically on Monday. But on top of my mind, I remember that there is that injunction. I think these are issues that have to be reconciled in one way or the other.”
In an update on Friday, Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 co-chairperson Dr John Phuka announced more measures for the prevention, containment and management of the pandemic.
He said the measures, which include a ban on meetings, street markets, weddings, and restrictions on bars and other entertainment places, capacity in passenger vehicles but also adherence to all Covid measures in religious gatherings and funerals, will be enforced by local councils and relevant law enforcement agencies.
By Saturday, Malawi had 2 261 confirmed Covid-19 with 33 deaths. Of these cases, 786 are imported infections and 1 475 are locally transmitted. Cumulatively, 517 cases have now recovered bringing the number of active cases to 1 711.