Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture has clarified that Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre will not be turned into a quarantine centre for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The ministry’s spokesperson Simon Mbvundula made the clarification after some returnees from South Africa were taken to the stadium for tests upon arrival through Mwanza Border Post on Monday evening after tests.
He said: “They were taken to Kamuzu Stadium because the place that had initially been arranged for them was in a deplorable state and authorities felt they needed to be kept at a decent place.
“They were taken there because the stadium is near the testing centre and as soon as the results are out, they will proceed to their respective homes for quarantine.”
On whether the stadium will now be used as a dispatch centre, Mbvundula said: “Government will be deciding depending on the situation from time to time.”
Over 300 returnees spent the night at the stadium.
Kamuzu Stadium manager Ambilike Mwaungulu yesterday also confirmed that the facility has been turned into a dispatch centre for a few days.
“The dispatches might take a day, two or more, depending on how quick the processes will happen,” he said.
On the possibility of the stadium being infected and becoming a health risk to the people that currently use it for exercises, Mwaungulu said they are working with all relevant government departments to ensure that it is safe.
He said: “We are working with all other relevant government departments to keep the facility safe.
“This is an emergency and there was no formal meeting to discuss the measures in full, as such, we did not make any arrangements on where they would sleep and some of them spent the night at the covered stands while others on the turf.
“So, we will handle the situation as it comes. Once the dispatches are done, the facility will be sanitised by the Ministry of Health.”
On the possibility of the 12 buses that park on the artificial turf when dispatching the returnees damaging the artificial turf, Mwaungulu said: “We hope they will not.”