The president said he cancelled the celebrations have been cancelled the celebration due to the surge in the country’s COVID-19 case.

Lazarus Chakwera said in a televised speech that “we will direct all the resources meant for the Independence Day celebrations to the fight against COVID-19.”

Malawi gained independence from British colonial rule on June 6, 1964.

The celebration was earlier restricted to 20, 000 citizens, but this has been cancelled.

The president also reduced the number of guests who attended his inauguration ceremony scheduled for the same day.

The ceremony which was to take place at a giant stadium in the capital, Lilongwe, will now be held at the Kamuzu Barracks in the city, where only 100 people will be invited.

President Chakwera announced an increase of 150 new cases of COVID-19 in the country, raising Malawi’s case count to 1613.

“We’re in a worse situation today than we were three months ago. The coronavirus is spreading everywhere in Malawi, and it is spreading with the power to kill,” he said.

He explained that the country cannot go into a lockdown since people need to work to get something to eat daily.

Malawi has a population of 19.13 million with most living on $1 a day or less.