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28 Aug 2020 | 01:10 AM UTC

Malawi: Limited flight operations in Lilongwe to resume on September 1 /update 9

Malawi News Alert

Limited flight operations are to resume in Lilongwe on September 1; abide by government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 8/27/2020, 12:00 AM until 9/15/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Blantyre). COUNTRY/REGION Malawi

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Malawian authorities have announced that airlines will be allowed to resume operations, albeit at a limited capacity, as of Tuesday, September 1, to limit the damage caused to the country's economy by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Airports in the administrative capital Lilongwe will now open to limited flights, although passengers arriving there must present negative COVID-19 test results, taken within the ten days prior to them entering the country. Authorities also announced that schools, which have been closed since March, would also open nationwide as of September 1.

COVID-19-related measures were introduced on August 9 following an increase in the country's number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Places of worship, restaurants, and bars were closed, and public gatherings of greater than ten people prohibited, except for funerals, which can have up to 50 people in attendance. Face masks are also mandatory in all public spaces, and failure to wear a mask can result in a fine of 10,000 Malawian Kwacha (USD 13).

As of Thursday, August 27, there have been 5496 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Malawi, and 173 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:  

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.  
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.


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