Porous border posts – a great risk during the Coronavirus pandemic

3D render of a medical image with virus cells

Chitipa District Health Office (DHO) says it is committed to ensuring that the Coronavirus pandemic is prevented from being imported into the country through its borders at Mbilima and Kanyala in Tanzania and Zambia respectively.

The remarks were made Monday by the Director of Health and Social Services for Chitipa District Council, Dr Ted Bandawe during an inspection visit by the Minister of Health, Jappie Mhango to Mbilima Border Post in Chitipa.

However, Dr Bandawe expressed concern over the porosity of the country’s borders in the district.

Bandawe said the borders’ geographical positions pose a great threat to Malawi as some immigrants might be entering the country through the unchartered routes without being screened taking advantage of the porosity of the borders.

“Health personnel and all security agents in the district are working tirelessly to ensure that all people entering Malawi are properly screened for Coronavirus and quarantined,” he said.

In his remarks, Mhango said he was impressed with Chitipa District Council’s progress of interventions put in place to avoid the spread of Coronavirus into the country through the district.

However, Mhango called upon all traditional leaders along the border areas to ensure that people entering the country do so through the border posts.

“Like what we did with the threat of Ebola, we are calling upon all the traditional authorities along the border areas to ensure that all the monkey bridges between Malawi and its neighbouring countries are destroyed.

Travellers should only use designated routes. It is government’s wish that all undesignated routes should be patrolled, and that those using such routes must be screened as well,’’ said Mhango.

Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia have already reported COVID-19 confirmed cases.

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