Communities in Likoma have requested Ministry of Transport and Public Infrastructure and Malawi Shipping Company to enforce Covid-19 preventive measures on MV Ilala.
The request comes three days after the district registered its first Covid-19 case.
Traditional Authority Mkumpha III made the remarks on Tuesday during a meeting National Initiative for Civic Education (Nice) Trust organised on Covid-19 awareness in the district.
“MV Ilala is mostly congested. We appeal to authorities to ensure passengers wear face masks,” he said.
Besides failing to observe social distancing, passengers do not wash their hands with soap when boarding the ship nor do authorities spray hand sanitisers into passengers’ palms.
But Malawi Shipping Company spokesperson Thomas Chafunya said they are in contact with relevant officials on the matter.
“Additional measures, if needed, will be provided by them,” he said.
Ministry of Transport and Public Infrastructure spokesperson James Chakwera said the measures have been to reduce the numbers of passengers on the vessel.
“We have been appealing to the public to abide by set protocols and as the ministry, Department of Marine, Malawi Shipping Company and ports authority on our own we cannot win this fight. We need the public to also help in the same,” he said.
Likoma Nice district civic education officer Patrick Chikoti said they will intensify civic education to ensure community members follow Covid-19 preventive measures.