Ministers of Health, Information and Homeland Security on Tuesday made a surprise visit to Mchinji-Mwami-Zambia border to check the district’s preparedness in the prevention of COVID-19.
The Ministers Jappie Mhango, Mark Botomani and Nicholas Dausi visited the border as members of the government committee on Coronavirus.
Speaking after the tour Minister of Health Jappie Mhango, who chairs the committee, said he was impressed with the preparedness at the border in the prevention of COVID-19.
“We are here today, to appreciate the level of preparedness in Mchinji as a border district. As government, we are doing everything possible to prevent the virus from entering Malawi,” he said.
All neighboring countries to Malawi have been affected by the disease and have reported confirmed cases.
Mhango said for the prevention to be successful there is need for coordination among all stakeholders at the border in ensuring that all people crossing into the country are monitored and tested.
These stakeholders include the health department, immigration, Malawi Revenue Authority and the police.
“I am happy that in Mchinji, all the stakeholders are working together, but we need to increase numbers of healthcare workers to ensure that the process is more effective,” he added
He urged officers working at the border to work with dedication saying the deadly virus has the potential of wiping out the population.
Mhango said government secured mobile houses which will be used as quarantine facilities and staff offices.
The mobile houses will be erected at the borders starting from March 25 in case of suspected cases.
Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi urged the police to man all unchartered routes from the neighboring countries to Malawi to ensure that people do not use such routes to enter Malawi.
“We have instructed the police and the immigration officers to be visible in those routes to ensure that no one enters the country without being checked at the border,” he added.
Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology Mark Botomani warned the media against parading stories about COVID-19 without facts.
“I urge all media practitioners to ensure that they get facts from relevant authorities on COVID-19 to ensure that the public is not misinformed,” he said.
Director of Health and Social Services for Mchinji Juliana Kanyengambeta said the district needs more health personnel and equipment at the border to make checking of people entering the border fast.