President Chakwera said "all religiously-inclined citizens and residents of Malawi" should fast and pray for three days starting today (Thursday, July 16, 2020).

He also declared Sunday a national day of thanksgiving.

A statement signed by the Information Minister Gospel Kazako said: "The president asks that prayers be lifted up for the recovery of those infected and affected by the virus; the protection and sustenance of healthcare workers on the front-lines of the fight, the protection, and diligence of those who have not yet contracted the virus, the effectiveness of the presidential task force on COVID-19."

President Chakwera is a former pastor. He was a pastor with the Malawi Assemblies of God church for 24 years.

He became the leader of the then opposition Malawi Congress Party in 2013 with no previous political experience.

He was elected president in the June 23 election rerun, beating incumbent Peter Mutharika.

Meanwhile, Malawians on social media have mixed reactions to President Chakwera's call for fasting and prayer.