Communities surrounding National Oil Company of Malawi (NOCMA) depot in Mzuzu are living in fear. They say the Tanzanian truck drivers who are delivering fuel to the area have high chances to spread Covid-19 to the locals.
The communities who threatened to take the law into their own hands if government fails to sort out the problem said all truck drivers should be quarantined for 14 days as recommended because they are coming from a country affected by Covid-19.
They said the drivers who are not following the Covid-19 prevention measures interact with the locals at the trading center.
“NOCMA must do something. Our lives are in danger to Covid-19. How do they allow these drivers to reach here without being quarantined? They should prioritize our lives, not fuel,” said Maria Chavula, wife to group village headman Zatuwa.
Chavula said NOCMA should put in measures that will ensure the drivers are following the Covid-19 restrictions while at the depot.
“They buy groceries, food, beer among others in our shops. Apart from that, the drivers chat with the locals especially girls which is easy to spread the Covid-19 if they are positive,” she added.
Speaking to this reporter, a number of drivers confirmed that they enter the country without being quarantined.
The drivers openly said, health officials at Songwe border post only check their body temperature, but they are not quarantined before proceed to Mzuzu.
“That is not our problem. It is your government failure to do that. Do you think we cannot follow the procedures if asked to do so? We just follow orders and that is to drop fuel here in Mzuzu,”
They could not disclose whether they are being quarantined in their country when coming to Malawi.
A health official at Songwe border post also confirmed the development saying “we don’t have testing kits here and we just see if they have related Covid-19 symptoms or not apart from knowing their temperature.”
Meanwhile,sources at NOCMA Mzuzu depot told Nyasa Times that health officials have been summoned by Minister of Health Jappie Mhango who was expected to visit the area Tuesday.
The minister’s visit follows Nyasa Times investigation on the matter.
Northern region has not registered any Coronavirus case which has affected 18 people and killed 2 people.
Tanzania has 254 Covid-19 cases with 10 deaths.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :