COVID-19 testing to be started at Songwe border

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By  Andrew Mkonda

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Karonga, Government has directed Health officials in Karonga District to start testing anyone suspected of having symptoms of COVID-19 at Songwe Border from next week.

Minister of Health, Khumbize Chiponda made the directive Friday during her tour to appreciate the efforts made at the Songwe border in containing the spread of Covid-19.

She noted that screening at the border was not enough saying many Covid-19 cases that the country was registering are imported from other countries that pass through the borders and uncharted routes.

“We are under a crisis as the country, the pandemic is hitting us so hard, and each day we are losing many people to Covid-19.

“We have a certain percentage of transmission from people who come from outside the country and we have local transmission. We need to start testing right away, screening and taking body temperature is not enough,” The Minister noted

Chiponda said the country has got enough testing kits now that could be used in all the country borders.

Karonga District Hospital Director of Health and Social Services (DHSS), David Sibale said the idea was long overdue saying they have been falling to conduct testing at the border due to inadequate resources.

He said since Government has promised to assist with testing kits and a mobile testing room and they are ready to start testing at Songwe Border as directed by the minister.

Sibale said testing at the border would assist to inform decisions on how better risky and non- risky people can be handled before they proceed.

Since first COVID-19 cases were registered in April 2020 in the country, Karonga District Hospital has just been taking people’s body temperature and screening at Songwe Border in conjunction with Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS).

Karonga has registered forty active COVID-19 cases with two deaths.

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