Malawi lifts travel ban to India and Brazil
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RUSTENBURG - Malawi has lifted a four month old travel ban to India, Pakistani, Bangladesh, Nepal and Brazil, after determining that those countries are no longer high risk for Covid-19, Health Minister Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has said.
In a statement posted on the health ministry’s Facebook page, Chiponda said the southern African country’s presidential taskforce on Covid-19 had deliberated on existing travel restrictions and mandatory institutional quarantine for those coming from high risk countries.
"India, Pakistani, Bangladesh, Nepal and Brazil are no longer categorised as high risk countries, therefore travellers from these countries will no longer be required to be on mandatory self-sponsored institutional quarantine," she said.
"The presidential task force will continue to monitor the situation and make necessary revisions based on the disease trend in the country and globally."
All travellers are however still required to present a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Covid-19 test result taken not more than 72 hours before landing in Malawi.
Malawi imposed the travel ban in April in a bid to reduce the importation and spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which was first detected in India. Those undertaking essential travel to and from these countries were subjected to mandatory quarantine at designated hotel accommodation at their own cost upon arrival in the country.
Chiponda said traditional leaders and faith leaders should not only encourage people in Malawi to get vaccinated for Covid-19, but also take an active role in ensuring that preventive and containment measures were strictly adhered to.
"This will help in reducing the spread of Covid-19 in our communities. Together we can have a Covid-19 free Malawi and it begins with us. To effectively reduce and stop Covid-19 from spreading, there is need for a collective effort to contain the pandemic by comprehensively following all the preventive and containment measures," she said.
Malawi on Sunday reported four new Covid-19 related deaths, 32 fresh cases and 234 recoveries from the disease. Cumulatively, the country has recorded 2,161 deaths, 60,345 cases and 47,251 recoveries. Nearly 878,000 vaccine doses against the virus have been administered.
"Cumulatively 472,229 and 208,898 people have received the first dose and second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine respectively while 196,824 people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine ... Cumulatively, 405,722 people are fully vaccinated," Chiponda said.