BLANTYRE-The Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 has announced new measures to help prevent the new Covid-19 variant, Omicron reported in some countries, from spreading into Malawi.
In the new measures, Minister of Health Khumbize-Kandodo Chiponda says in addition to a negative PCR based Covid-19 certificate that is no older than 72 hours, all arriving travellers of all nationalities, including Malawians, will be expected to show a valid electronic Covid-19 full vaccination certificate, failure which they will be vaccinated at point of entry.
“Travellers that are not able to produce a valid electronic Covid-19 certificate, and refuse to access Covid-19 vaccine offered at point of entry, will be required to undergo institutional quarantine for symptoms monitoring for 10 days at their cost.” the statement reads in part.
Government has also adjusted Covid-19 vaccination age limit from 18 to 12 years of age for Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine only.
Chiponda further announced that with immediate effect, Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa District, will be managed technically as a Point of Entry for purposes of Covid-19 control.
The new variant which was first discovered in South Africa has been classified by World Health Organization as B.1.1.529 (Omicron) and is characterized by an increased risk of re-infection as compared to the other variants of concern.
Following its discovery, Britain on Friday placed South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe on its red list. Travellers from these countries will be required to do a day 2 PCR test and self-isolate until they have got a negative result.
United States also announced restrictions which apply to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.