Malawi’s new president, Lazarus Chakwera, has called off independence celebrations and further scaled back plans for Monday’s formal inauguration.
Both events were due to be marked by a huge jamboree in Lilongwe’s football stadium.
On Saturday, the president announced the stadium’s capacity would be halved to 20,000 to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Now the stadium festivities have been cancelled altogether, with the inauguration being moved to a military barracks to be witnessed by only 100 specially-invited guests.
The cancellation will put a dampener on the euphoria generated by the historic opposition triumph in a recent election re-run, after last year’s fraudulent polls were overturned.