Malawi: Salima Sugar Company Closes Its Estate Over Covid-19 Spread

Following a directive from Minister Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, Salima Sugar Company has temporarily suspended its operations for the next 14 days in order to contain the CoVID-19 spread that affected its estate.

"We have agreed with the Honourable Minister and are hereby temporarily stopping operations at the Salima estate," said the company in a staff memo issued on Tuesday.

The company advises the staff to continue observing social distance and to wear masks as well as observing other measures whilst at home.

"The directive [from Ministry of Health] dictates that all staff that are positive will be at institutional quarantine in Salima or Lilongwe," says the memo issued by company secretary, Charles Thupi.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that an Indian national, who was in a group of 40 compatriots that arrived in the country to work at Salima Sugar Factory, died from what is suspected to be a deadly Indian variant of CovVID-19 related case.

Thupi, while confirming the death, only said the deceased was pronounced dead upon arrival at Kamuzu Central Hospital on Monday.

Reports indicate that 16 of the Indian nationals who arrived in the country in four groups two weeks ago, through Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, tested CoVID-19 positive although they produced negative CoVID-19 certificates upon their arrival.

Salima Sugar Factory has over 4,500 workers prompting Minister Chiponda to order mass testing and mandatory two-week quarantine for all Indians there.

Chiponda and other officials from her Ministry toured the factory after it was established that the new arrivals at the factory had tested positive.

Chaponda indicated that they will send the samples to South Africa for further test to ensure what they are dealing with.

"We want conduct aggressive contact tracing so that people are protected from any new variant," Chiponda said.

More From: Nyasa Times

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