Minister Khumbize Chiponda warns against aiding illegal immigrants as Malawi register surge in Covid-19 cases

The Minister of Health Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has warned Malawians living in border districts to stop aiding and abetting illegal entry of foreign nationals, stressing that the practice could expose the country to imported coronavirus disease (Covid-19) infections.

Chiponda sounded the warning in Ntcheu on Thursday when she received a donation of personal protective equipment (PPEs) from the Malawi Health Equity Network (MHEN).

Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda making a symbolic presentation of the PPEs to Macheso

The donation was valued at K15 million and will benefit Ntcheu, Lilongwe, Mzimba North Blantyre and Dedza district hospitals.

“It is sad that as the neighbouring countries struggle to contain the third wave of the virus, some unpatriotic Malawians are busy aiding foreign nationals to enter this country illegally thereby putting the country at risk, especially considering that most of these do not know their Covid status. I wish to warn Malawians in all the border districts to stop this behaviour forthwith,” she said.

On the scarcity of the vaccines, Chiponda said the government is hopeful that the Covax facility will deliver about 900, 000 doses by the end of next month.

“But due to increasing demand in India and the slowness in production they are expecting about 200,000 in the first weeks of July,” she said.

Chiponda thanked MHEN for the donation, saying it has come at the right time when the country is registering increased Covid-19 cases, which requires timely interventions if the country is to tame its further spread.

She cited Ntcheu district, which has had no any case in the past, but now has one admitted patient over 12 cases, which shows that the pandemic is spreading faster.

Ntcheu Director of Health Technical Support and Social Services, Dr Stephen Macheso, called for more assistance in support of frontline health workers.

MHEN board member Fred Mwathengere emphasized the need for collaboration between government and various stakeholders in containing the pandemic.

Mwathengere, who is also the chairperson of programmes committee of MHEN board, said his organization would focus more on sensitization about the virus after noting that most people have relaxed in following the covid-19 measures.

MHEN implemented a one-year Covid-19 response project funded by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).

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