Communities in Luwinga, Mzuzu, say they are not ready to allow accommodation of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) quarantine cases at Football Association of Malawi (FAM) Luwinga Technical Development Centre.
FAM offered the facility to Ministry of Health to use as a quarantine centre for Covid-19 patients to contain the spread of the pandemic, which has so far affected 72 people in the country, as of yesterday.
Three weeks after protesters damaged the facility, The Nation has established that communities have not accepted the quarantine centre in the area.
All the 15 households surrounding the facility The Nation interviewed indicated that they will block the project because information regarding their safety once the Covid-19 patients are kept at the place has not been provided.
“We are still saying no for the facility to be turned into a quarantine centre until healthy experts provide us with information on our safety once the centre starts keeping Covid-19 patients. We may think otherwise, but as it stands, we are not ready to allow the facility to be a quarantine centre,” said one resident Bulamusaka Manda.
On his part, a community policing coordinator for the area George Kaunda said with part of the place having no fence it is a health risk to the community.
“We are still saying no to the facility turning to a quarantine centre. We still have questions that need to be answered by health experts on our safety because our children invade the venue as a big part of it has no fence,” he said.
Mzimba North District Health Office (DHO) spokesperson Lovemore Kawayi said they are making strides to sensitise the communities to how the facility will be operating, taking into consideration their safety concerns.
“We have people that were supposed to be quarantined at the facility,” he said.
The protesters damaged mattresses, tables, chairs, water pipes, doors, window panes and hospital beds at the facility.
FAM recently indicated that the facility can still be used for use for Covid-19 medical support to ministry as quarantine centre on condition that the surrounding community assured of their support towards the cause