As the surge in new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases continues in the country, the government has reiterated its ban on public entertainment events.
In a statement on Friday, the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 warned that due to the escalation of Covid-19 transmission and deaths, there is need for stricter measures to contain the oubreak.
Among others, the government has suspended night binges and holding of events in entertainment places. All bottle stores, pubs, bars and clubs have been advised to open only from 2 to 7pm just for purposes of buying and drinking from home.
The suspension has also prohibited the holding of cultural activities including traditional dances, weddings and engagement ceremonies.
“All measures for the prevention, containment and management of the pandemic shall be enforced by local councils and relevant law enforcing agencies,” reads the statement in part.
The announcement has met a positive reaction from some musicians who resumed live performances in defiance to the initial ban.
Zembani Band owner Lucius Banda said the current ban makes a lot of sense unlike previously when the pandemic was less intense.
In an interview he said: “As it is now, it didn’t even need the government to tell us to stop. By last week, Zembani had already stopped [live shows].”
Black Missionaries band manager Ras Ray Harawa said they will abide by the directive, but the government must work out alternative ways of helping artists survive.
His stance was shared by Musicians Union of Malawi president Gloria Manong’a who said much as they appreciate the government’s position on the issue, musicians need a financial bailout as they have been hit hard.
“We are musicians and we cannot just turn ourselves into vegetable sellers overnight. At least, other sectors are working in different circumstances and earning a little something, but that cannot be said of musicians,” she said.
Manong’a urged the government to provide small and short medium loans to boost the economic status of the musicians.