Local Leaders Urged to Report Illegal Returnees

By George Mponda, MANA

Local leaders in Dedza and surrounding districts have been urged to report to the District Health Office (DHO) of people use unchartered routes when returning from other countries.

This follows a district campaign in the border district organized by Dedza District Information Office in conjunction with Dedza DHO with financial support from the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA).

During the exercise, Dedza DHO spokesperson, Mwayi Liabunya bemoaned the increase of new Covid-19 cases imported from across the border mainly by those that are evading border posts, where tests are conducted.

He said it is the duty of the communities to make sure that people are safe from Covid-19 hence the need for them to report returnees who are using uncharted routes.

“Those who are using the official border posts are having their samples taken and tested for the virus which is also making contact tracing easier but for those who use illegal routes it is easier for them to spread the virus to the community if they are not reported to health officials,” he said.

Liabunya urged the leaders to make sure that people in the communities should offer full support to those who have tested positive to Coronavirus, while making sure that all preventive measures are being followed.

In his remarks, Group village Headman (GVH) Chikufikani commended the organisers of the meeting for creating an opportunity where leaders have shared their views and fears about Covid-19.

“It is true that here in Dedza, we are neighbors with Mozambique and alot of people go to South Africa in search of green pastures. It is simple for returnees and even people who visit Mozambique for trade to spread the virus.

As such we will make sure that people should use the official border and we will report those who use shortcuts to protect our communities,” he said.

According to Dedza DHO currently the district has recorded 26 confirmed Covid-19 cases with 23 cases imported and 3 locally transmitted.

Earlier this month when the Dedza-Calomue border was being reopened, District Commissioner (DC) for Dedza, Emmanuel Bulukutu, called on the Angonia DC, Paul Sebastiano of Mozambique to help seal uncharted routes which were being used during the closure of the border.

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