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Malawi government extends school closure

Minister of Health Khumbize Chiponda (R)

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—Minister of Health Khumbize Chiponda has announced that after an assessment that the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 conducted, they have agreed that all schools should remain closed for another two weeks and that all students who were still on campus must return home.

Chiponda and other members of the taskforce said this during a briefing to give an update on the Covid-19 situation.

She added that after two weeks another assessment will be done to confirm if it will be safe for schools to open.

“Given the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country, Government would like to inform the general public that school closure will be extended by another two weeks starting from 8th February, 2021.

“Consequently, all students in boarding secondary schools as well as residential students in colleges and universities should be released to go back home for these two weeks.

“Government further calls on all students, parents and guardians to continue observing all COVID-19 preventive measures even while at home,” the Health Minister said.

On 18th January, President Lazarus Chakwera directed the Ministry of Education to close all schools for three weeks after noticing resurgence in Covid-19 cases.

The students were supposed to go back to their respective schools on Monday next week but the new order means that schools will open on 22nd February, 2021 though not automatic.

After reporting no positive cases for almost two months, the country had seen a sudden resurgence in coronavirus cases since the middle of last month.

The situation left President Chakwera with no choice but to introduce new preventive measures to contain a jump in confirmed cases and deaths from the pandemic. 

The restrictions included school closures, a night-time curfew, and no gatherings over 50 people.
 
The measure came five days after Chakwera declared a state of national disaster in response to the spike in COVID-19 cases.

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