Some residents of Karonga have petitioned government to close Karonga Refugee Camp after two Congolese suspected to have had signs of Ebola fled without being quarantined.
According to the petition, signed by concerned citizens chairperson Wavisanga Silungwe and addressed to Karonga district commissioner (DC), the two Congolese, identified as Violet Binali and Steven Kanjolo, escaped while under care of health officials at the border.
However, a health official Osman Kayira, who handled the suspects, said on Monday the two complained of fever, abdominal pains and weakness, “but they got better after being given food and disappeared”.
Kayira ruled out fears of Ebola, saying the signs might have been due to hunger as they stayed for a week without eating.
In the petition, residents say the escape of the two poses danger to the community and that people have been kept in the dark about efforts being done to locate the two and quarantine them.
They say the escape justifies calls for indefinite closure of the facility as the country does not have the capacity to handle Ebola cases.
“This puts lives of the community under great danger, including you, our DC. We need to know how far has tracking of these two suspected Ebola cases gone; have they been found?
“This summarises our fears that we have had all along and we clearly state again now that the Refugee Shelter Camp must be closed indefinitely,” reads the petition in part.