Malawi joined other southern African nations in announcing a three-week lockdown on Tuesday to curb the spread of coronavirus.
“If (we are) not careful, Malawi could lose up to 50,000 lives from COVID,” President Peter Mutharika said at a news conference with Health Minister Jappie Mhango announcing the lockdown lasting from April 18 until May 9.
Mhango said all non-essential businesses and services would cease.
Most southern African countries, including South Africa, Angola and Zimbabwe, have previously announced full or partial lockdowns. On Tuesday, Namibia extended its stay-at-home order by 2-1/2 weeks.
No southern African nations have a significant number of cases yet, except South Africa which has 2,415 so far.