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New Malawi president Lazarus Chakwera has announced the cancellation of Independence Day celebrations due to coronavirus pandemic.

In a televised address, Mr Chakwera said the celebrations would risk the spread of the deadly virus.

Independence day is celebrated annually on July 6 commemorating Malawi’s independence in 1966 from Britain’s colonial rule.

This year’s celebration was to be restricted to 20,000 citizens but it has been cancelled.

The South Eastern country has recorded a total of 1,613 coronavirus cases.

President Chakwera announced that the money for the celebrations would be channeled towards fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

The Monday’s celebrations were to also mark Mr Chakwera’s inauguration. Both events were to be held at Lilongwe’s Football Stadium.

The inauguration has now been moved to a military barracks and only 100 special invited guests will attend.

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