Coronavirus: MHEN pleads for intensified screening at Malawi borders

Malawi Health Equity Network(MEHN) has asked government to consider intensifying cross border checks against corona virus infection.

Jobe: It is imperative that the screening applies to everyone crossing the borders

MEHN Executive Director, George Jobe says given the high level of trading activities between Malawi and the neighbouring countries, the risk of the virus getting into the country is higher if the country’s borders are not controlled.

While appreciating government’s precautionary measures against the corona virus spread, Jobe has however pointed out that more needs to be done to keep the nation safe.

He said MEHN has noted that most of the screening in the country’s borders is done to people travelling in motor vehicles, leaving pedestrians unchecked.

“As MEHN, we have noted that most of the screening is done to people travelling on buses and small vehicles while pedestrians are not being screened. It is imperative that the screening applies to everyone crossing the borders, including people travelling on foot, they too should be checked for possible signs of the virus attack,” he said.

With Mchinji immigration records showing an average of 250 Malawians entering Zambia and at least 90 Zambians entering Malawi through Mwami border, Jobe says more has to be done to check the corona virus spread through the borders while also safeguarding the trading interest of the populations around the border areas.

“The immigration pattern between Malawi and Zambia is crucial to containing the pandemic. It means both Malawians and Zambians are at risk of getting the infection through the cross border travels, and this applies to all other neighbouring countries like Mozambique and Tanzania,” he said.

Jobe further said there is need to use posters to alert the populations of the possible signs and the precautionary measures against spread of the virus.

When contacted, Ministry of health spokesperson, Joshua Malango affirmed government’s commitment to containing the virus.

He said currently ministry of health has already intensified cross border screening of people entering the country through all the country’s borders.

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