Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi has commended the Department of Immigration, police and MRA for collaborating with Ministry of Health(MoH) to curb the threat of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.
The minister said this yesterday when he inspected Mwanza Border Post to assess Malawi’s preparedness against the Covid-19 threat that has so far killed over 36 000 people and infected over 750 000 others worldwide.
On the other hand, Africa has since confirmed over 4 600 cases and over 140 deaths in 46 of the continent’s 54 countries. Malawi is one of the eight countries that are yet to record a case.
Dausi also toured the border’s main entry point to check if authorities are complying with preventive measures from MoH and the World Health Organisation.
“I am happy to note that MoH, Immigration Department, the police and MRA [Malawi Revenue Authority] are coordinating in their efforts to make sure that whoever attempts to enter through the border has all the necessary prerequisites before entering into Malawi,” he said.
Among others, new arrivals coming through Mwanza Border are mandated to complete a MoH Traveller Health Declaration form where they also indicate countries they have recently been to and symptoms they may have experienced within the previous 24 hours.
They visitors are also scanned on the spot as one way of ensuring that they do not import any cases of symptoms of the viral disease into the country.
Dausi dismissed social media allegations of an impending lockdown slated for later this week, saying some Malawians are just so thirsty for a lockdown.
On her part, Mwanza district health and social services officer Ireen Zuze said the district has so far performed well in as far as efforts to contain the Covid-19 infection are concerned.
She said: “There is a lot that the district response sector is doing together with the private sector, including the Immigration, police and MRA in response to the outbreak.
“The first level is coordination, and we have to coordinate the whole district in the fight against coronavirus because it is not a one man’s fight.”
Zuze also disclosed that the district’s response team has received reasonable donations of personal protection equipment(PPE) such as face masks and protective wear that can be used in treating suspected coronavirus cases.
College of Medicine and the Community Health Sciences Unit in Lilongwe—which has screening materials for suspected coronavirus cases—tested 19 suspected cases that turned out negative.
Last week, Malawi also received a donation from Chinese Internet entrepreneur Jack Ma comprising 100 000 masks, 20 089 test kits, 741 PPEs and 1 111 face shields.