By Chisomo Phiri

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-Following an extended drop in number of COVID-19 pandemic cases in the country, the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 has relaxed travel requirements for those traveling into the country through different points of entries including the Airports and land crossing effective June 1, 2022.

Minister of Health who is also Co-chairperson of the Taskforce Khumbize Chiponda Kandodo made the announcement in a statement released yesterday Thursday May 19, 2022.

COVID-19 awareness campaign

Kandondo said among other changes, all incoming travelers including Malawians that are fully vaccinated and have digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate will no longer be required to produce a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain React (PCR) certificate prior to entering the country.

She said all incoming travelers including Malawians that are not fully vaccinated or do not have valid electronically verifiable COVID-19 full vaccination certificate will be required to produce a negative PCR-based COVID-19 certificate that is not order than 72 hours at the time of arrival in the country.

The Co-chairperson added that COVID-19 PCR certificate and or full COVID-19 vaccination certificate requirement for outgoing travelers will depend on the destination country’s requirements.

“The public is further informed that the COVID-19 vaccination program is continuing across the country and let me take this opportunity to encourage all those that are aged 21years above to get vaccinated at the earliest possible time to ensure that they are protected from developing severe disease, risk hospitalization and deaths due to COVID-19.

“Globally, there is strong evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in reducing the severity of the COVID-19 to those that have been fully vaccinated,” said Chiponda.

She said the evidence from the county’s COVID-19 data indicates that the majority that are being admitted due to severe COVID-19 and those dying from the pandemic are those that are not vaccinated.

She therefore, urged everyone who is not vaccinated to get vaccinated so that his/ her body is prepared to fight the disease when exposed to the virus.

Kandodo also assured Malawians that the country has adequate stocks of the COVID-19 vaccines such as Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, and AstraZeneca in all vaccinations sites.

” Let me request those that have received the vaccines already to be role models and encourage who is eligible to get vaccinated. The COVID-19 safe environment begins with all of us,” said the Minister.

Malawi has for the past three months registered a dramatic drop in coronavirus infections.

From a total of 1,065 active cases on October 3 2021, the country’s total caseload has dropped to just 45 as of December 7, 2021. More than 5,000 people have recovered, while the death toll stands at 185.

New confirmed cases are now ranging between one and four per day. Sometimes days pass without a recorded infection.

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