Machinga District Council Monday banned people from eating at funerals and church ceremonies as one way of preventing the spread of Coronavirus in the district.
The Council held a Full Council Meeting following President Prof Peter Mutharikaâs directive on Friday in which he asked Councils to consult and engage their stakeholders to agree on specific measures of fighting against the spread of Coronavirus.
Paramount Chief Kawinga said eating at funeral ceremonies and other mass gathering gives room to the spread of Coronavirus. He said the Council, through chiefs, should discourage their subjects from eating at funeral ceremonies and other gatherings.
âWe want only deceased families to prepare their own food as a household. We want to prevent the spread of the epidemic by banning people from eating at funeral ceremonies,â Kawinga said.
The Yao leader said chiefs and religious leaders should make sure that funeral ceremonies are done within a shortest period, adding that all funeral ceremony should end before 5 p.m.
Kawinga said the Council has tasked chiefs to make sure that hand washing facilities are placed at strategic places during funeral ceremonies including graveyards.
He said religious groupings should make sure that people are not eating together as a group during different religious activities.
Chairperson of Machinga District Council, Councillor, Alexander Shot expressed worry over the increased number of people who are coming from highly affected countries such as South Africa and neighboring countries using uncharted roots.
âWe have places like Nkwakwata, Namanja, Chiponde, Ngokwe and Mposa where traders from Malawi and Mozambique come in contact mostly during market days,â he said.Shot said the Council failed to conclude on banning market days, saying the move might negatively affect peopleâs welfare.
âWe have therefore asked the secretariat to engage market leadership on the issue. We have however agreed to step up with hygienic measures at all market places,â he added.
Traditional Authority (TA) Kapoloma aired out his concern over the increased number of uninformed messages being spread on the virus through the social media.He observed that wrong messages on Coronavirus were bringing fear in people such that some people had stopped working on other developmental activities.
âAlthough we are late but we still need to sensitize communities with right information about the virus,â Kapoloma said.
He asked religious institutions to mainstream Coronavirus messages in their activities.
Meanwhile the Council has asked Police and Health Sector to guard against the spread of Covid-19 by deploying officers at Nayuchi Border Post.