Coronavirus is spreading “all over Malawi” and “faster than before”, the country’s new President Lazarus Chakwera said in what was billed as a special address to the nation.
In a frank message, he said things can be summed up in five words: “Malawi, we have a situation”.
He said that even though the country has only around 1,400 people who have tested positive, almost half of the cases came in the last three weeks.
He added that the virus is now spreading within the community rather than coming from outside.
He said that some restrictions will be announced next week, but acknowledged that a balance had to be struck with maintaining livelihoods.
President Chakwera was sworn in last Sunday after defeating the incumbent, Peter Mutharika, in a rerun of last year’s disputed poll.
In the election campaign, Mr Chakwera held mass rallies and told the BBC at the time that the majority of the cases were imported.