Government in Malawi Reverses Ban on Church Gatherings and Allows up to 100 People in Churches at a Time
Minister of Health Jappie Mhango, who chairs the Special Cabinet Committee on Covid-19, prescribed during a news conference on Tuesday that church gatherings be suspended as a measure to prevent the spread of the killer virus in the country.
But in a statement MCC general secretary Gilford Matonga said churches will still congregate in line with guidelines on physical distance.
He said MCC sought clarification from Presidential advisor of religious affairs, Apostle Timothy Khoviwa, and that churches will continue gathering in the meantime.
The Episcopal Conference of Malawi, the umbrella body of the Catholic Bishops in Malawi, has also advised Catholic faithful to continue gatherings for prayers but should not exceed 100 congregants at a time.
The church has however said it has put in place measures to curb possible transmission among faithful.
The church also banned handshakes instead recommending waving to contain transmission of COVID-19.
Malawi announced its first coronavirus death on Tuesday as well as three additional cases, bringing the tally of infections to eight in one of the last countries in Africa to report the disease.
President Peter Mutharika declared a state of emergency on March 23 to combat the virus, closing schools until further notice.
He has since announced recruitment by the health ministry of 2,000 extra staff.
Over the weekend, Mutharika said he would cut his own salary and the wages of his ministers to help fund the fight against coronavirus.
Edited from All Africa ' Nyasa Times.