By Maxwell Kudzala
Mangochi, June 7, Mana: Mangochi District COVID-19 Task force on Saturday said it was considering escorting and monitoring trucks entering the country through Chiponde Border as one way of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
The district’s Chief Preventive Health Officer, Dr. Kondwani Mamba, disclosed this at Chiponde Border when a multi-sectoral team from the council visited the border to appreciate and monitor COVID-19 prevention practices.
Mamba said key among the escort team would be personnel from immigration department, Police and Health.
“We don’t want to leave the trucks and their drivers alone; we want to know how many are entering into the country and where they are going,” explained Mamba, adding: “We will escort them up to where they are going.”
Mamba added that for the escort plan to be effective, it would require good partnership with district authorities of particular destinations.
“Where necessary, we will report to relevant authorities, say, health office in that district so that they manage these travelers in terms of isolation and other necessary measures,” he said.
According to the Chief Preventive Health Officer, the escort plan will help the district to prevent further spread of the pandemic.
Eastern Region Immigration Officer, Vivian Kasambo, concurred with Mamba and pledged his office’s commitment to fulfilling the plan.
Kasambo said as immigration office, they were already following COVID-19 preventive measures which were established at national level.
“We are ready to take part in the implementation of the plan as long as we are provided with the necessary resources,” said Kasambo.
Currently, Chiponde Border is only allowing passage to trucks transporting goods which fall under essential services and materials related to health, such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE’s) and materials meant for government projects, according to Kasambo.
Mangochi has recorded 14 COVID-19 cases with two cases locally identified and the rest from returnees from South Africa, according to a recent update by the District Health Office.