By Bishop Witmos, MANA
Tanzania government has restricted travellers entering its Ileje District through the Isongole Border post from Malawi’s Chitipa District.
A letter dated April 9 from Ileje District Commissioner (DC), Joseph Mkude informs his neighbouring counterpart, DC for Chitipa Humphreys Gondwe that travellers into Tanzania through the said border will not be allowed unless they are quarantined for 14 days.
Mkude says in the letter that only those with “grave reasons of coming to Isongole, communication is needed between” the Chitipa DC and himself.
DC Gondwe has since presented the letter to the District Executive Committee (DEC) meeting on Monday, where he also asked security agencies to enforce all restriction measures taken by the Malawi Government such as the ban of travelling to infected nations and public gatherings.
“Let us ensure that we are not travelling to the infected nations and also to ensure that village markets are banned.
“Let’s continue doing public education and awareness in order to prevent our people from being affected by the pandemic,” Gondwe said.
In his remarks, officer in charge for Chitipa Police Station, Aubrey Kawale assured the Council that in conjunction with Malawi Defense Force, they would ensure that all the restrictions by Malawi Government on COVID-19 are put into force.
Chitipa District Council has received K31 million for the implementation of COVID -19 preventive measures.
So far, 16 people have been tested positive to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Malawi.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health & Population, Jappie Mhango, who is Chairperson of the Special Cabinet Committee on COVID-19, pledged that Government will soon deploy additional health care staff to Ntchisi District Health Office.
The Minister made the assurance on Tuesday morning when he visited the district to appreciate its preparedness towards COVID-19 in reaction to the district’s Director of Health and Social Services, Zondwayo Ng’oma’s remarks in which he indicated that the office has fewer nurses, clinicians as well as health surveillance assistants.
Mhango the Ministry has already started recruiting health workers and some of them will be deployed to Ntchisi District, adding that the issue of risk allowances for the staff health has also already been addressed and being processed by the Ministry of Finance.
Mhango also assured the health workers that government will provide them with personal protective equipment (PPEs) by the end of this week.
The district has also received some PPEs from non-governmental organisations such as World Vision Malawi, Water Aid Malawi, Light House and Ntchisi Evangelical Churches Consortium for Social Services.
The Minister was also taken on a tour of an isolation ward which has been put up in case the district registers cases of COVID-19 patients.
He appealed to the health workers to make good use of the available resources to prevent spread of the virus.
Ntchisi District Commissioner, Peter Jimusole told the minister they were already sensitising the communities on the COVID-19 preventative measures which have been set by the Government.
Meanwhile, the health office applauds people in the district for alerting the office whenever they come across a person who they suspect is infected with the virus and follow ups are made.
Ntchisi has not yet registered a confirmed case but there were two suspected cases which, according to Assistant Environmental Health Officer, Yotamu Kwauma are being closely monitored by health personnel.