Ebola alert: Karonga residents demand closure of refugee camp

Concerned citizens in Malawi’s northern border district of Karonga have petition Malawi government for failure to take action on the escape of two people from Democratic Republic of Congo who were suspected of having signs similar to Ebola patients.

The petition signed by the chairman of the concerned citizens Wavisanga Silungwe addressed to the District Commissioner (DHO) Rosemary Moyo demands immediate closure of refugees transit shelter which is in the district.

“We have all the evidence that these people who escaped at Songwe boarder are from DRC and what the DHO is saying that they are from Burundi is not making sense because the documents indicates that they are from DRC and there names are Violet Binali and Steven Kanjolo,” leads the petition .

A doctor displays collected samples of the Ebola virus
A doctor displays collected samples of the Ebola virus

The document further says that Karonga district is on extreme high risk of Ebola because of porous border.

“The community is advised to avoid direct contact with infected person, yet its no secret that the refugees at Karonga UNHCR shelter pose enormous threat as they use local public transport, wash in our lake, uses our public places such as market above all the shelter camp itself has no security fence that is why we need government to close this shelter immediately.”

The concerned citizen are asking government to update on the progress of the search for the two people who run away from their isolation room at the border while waiting  for Ebola scanning equipment.

“We need to know how far the tracing of the whereabouts of these Ebola is suspected Congolese has gone. Have they been found and where are they.”

The District Commissioner Rosemary Moyo confirmed having received the petition but said she can not comment on the matter.

“Indeed I have received the letter but I can not comment on the matter because as authorities of the district we are yet to discuss on the matter to give the way forward,” said Moyo.

Police district Officer-in-Charge Foster Mangani said he is not aware of the missing of two DRC refugees.

“I just read the petition at the DC office but I have not received the petition myself and I also don’t know about the missing of the two people,” he said.

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