Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has asked the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 to consider allowing a limited number of spectators who have received Covid-19 vaccine at football matches.
In its proposal, FAM wants to carry out the exercise during high-profile matches at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
FAM Covid-19 Task Force chairperson Chimango Munthali said they also hope the arrangement will help in encouraging people to get vaccinated.
He said: “Football can be a powerful tool for a campaign in such national initiatives. What we are saying is that if you want to watch football, you should be prepared to protect it and those involved in it as well as our country.”
The association’s Covid-19 task force has since written the task force on the proposal, which if approved, only fans that present a Covid-19 vaccine certificate at match venues will be allowed.
Alternatively, the fans will be allowed if they produce a Covid-19 negative result not older than 48 hours. FAM also proposes the setting up of mobile vaccine centres at match venues so that people can get vaccinated.
“It is a win-win situation. Fans will be allowed back in stadiums to watch matches while at the same time the uptake of the vaccines will be boosted,” Munthali said.
Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 co-chairperson Wilfred Chalamira Nkhoma yesterday confirmed receiving the proposal from FAM, but said he could not respond as he was out of office.
Malawi has registered a drop in people getting vaccines.
To date, 916 777 vaccine doses had been administered as of Tuesday with 480 780 and 220 281 people having received the first dose and second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine while 215 716 people had received the single dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
Cumulatively, 435 997 people are fully vaccinated, but this is by far short of the 11 million people needed for Malawi to achieve herd immunity.
In May, Malawi destroyed about 20 000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine which expired in April.
On Tuesday, during the daily update on Covid-19 by the task force, Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo-Chiponda, who is also co-chairperson of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, said the country continues to observe a downward trend in the number of Covid-19 new cases.
“Though this is the case, we are still losing productive people due to Covid-19. Our Case Fatality Rate is higher than the global average which is 3.64 percent compared to 2.1 percent globally,” she said in a statement.
Cumulatively, Malawi has recorded 60 898 Covid-19 cases, including 2 225 deaths.