Commercial banks in Malawi have suspended interest and principal payments for bank loans for the next three months.
The banks, through the umbrella body, Bankers Association of Malawi (BAM), have also reduced by 40 percent all fees and charges on internet banking mobile payments and other related services.
Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor Dalitso Kabambe and BAM Second Vice President Zandile Shaba have announced the new measures in Lilongwe, in line with a recent directives by President Professor Mutharika to cushion Malawians from the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
The southern African country has nine confirmed cases with one death. The 9th Covid-19 patient is a 44 year-old male and resident of Area 25B in Lilongwe. The man is a Canadian but originally from Burundi who came into the country on March 28 2020.
The coronavirus epidemic continues to disrupt life across the world. The disruption is all but gathering steam in affected even virus-free African countries. The rate of infection is lower on the continent as compared to Europe, Asia and parts of the Americas, where lockdowns are in place.
The impact on gatherings is an area that most African governments have moved to control. A number of business conferences were cancelled on account of the pandemic. A number of governments have also declared State of Emergencies.