20 March 2020 – Declaration of state of disaster, response plan with school closings and travel bans to be developed

Type of Intervention: Executive Order
Sectors Involved: Education, Finance/Economy, Foreign Affairs, Health, Immigration
Level of Jurisdiction: National
Lead People/Agency: Local health experts

Overview: Declaration of state of disaster with the following measures;

-Recommendation of handwashing hygiene practices, social distancing, and improved health-seeking behavior.

-Development of a Response Plan. The total budget for this plan is about MK15 billion which is equivalent to US$20 million.

-Ministry of Health and Population is redeploying health personnel in all border posts and continue screening and surveillance of people in all entry points;

-Government has suspended hosting of international meetings and banned public servants from attending both regional and international meetings being hosted by affected countries.
The ban has been extended to all people travelling on other government-related activities such as sports;

-Government is advising the general public to avoid non-essential travel to the affected countries;

-Government has directed that all schools, colleges (including technical colleges), both public and private universities should be closed by Monday, 23rd March 2020;

-Government is restricting public gatherings to less than 100 people forthwith. This restriction applies to all gatherings including weddings, funerals, church, congregations, rallies, government meetings etc; The national security apparatus has been ordered into action to enforce these restrictions.

-Government has banned travel of foreign nationals from countries highly affected by coronavirus disease. However, SADC countries are exempted. Returning residents and nationals from coronavirus affected countries will be subjected to self or institutional quarantine;

-Government will continue to monitor and review the situation and the restrictions from time to time within the next 30 days;

-Government has temporarily suspended issuance of visa to citizens of countries highly affected by coronavirus;

Full details here: https://times.mw/peter-mutharika-declares-covid-19-national-disaster/

Other links: 1
Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group, Advice of EXTERNAL expert advisor or advisory committee, Perception of an increased threat to the country
Source of Evidence or Justification: World Health Organisation, National health experts
Evidence/Justification: The head of state referred to recommendations provided by the WHO and local health experts.