M’mbelwa District Council has banned mobile markets and cattle markets within Mzimba District amid coronavirus pandemic scare.
The resolution was passed at a full council meeting on Wednesday.
In an interview after the meeting, the council chairperson Dan Nkosi said the ban is with immediate effect.
“Due to the threat posed by coronavirus, the council has agreed to introduce a ban to prohibit operation of salaula [mobile] markets and cattle markets in Mzimba District forthwith,” he said.
Nkosi urged people in the district to follow precautionary measures as recommended by government such as observing social distance and washing hands frequently with soap.
Although Malawi is yet to register a Covid-19 case, Mzimba is considered a high-risk district as many people from the area trek to South Africa where cases have been reported.
Mzimba Solola legislator Jacob Hara (Malawi Congress Party—MCP) said although people will lose businesses because of the ban, the preventive measure was the best option under the circumstances.
“Obviously the ban will bring negative economic consequences among people in rural communities, but prevention is better than cure,” he said.
On his part, Inkosi Kampingo Sibande said the district should tread carefully with people coming from South Africa.
Meanwhile, the council has issued a letter addressed to the public and traders in Mzimba informing them about the ban.
President Peter Mutharika declared the country a State of Disaster last Friday as one way of enforcing preventive measures against coronavirus.