Malawi's Health Minister, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda, has called for vigilance among key agencies in the fight against Covid-19 in the country's border posts to stop people that might be trying to use borders to sneak in from high risk countries.
Kandodo said security agencies and health workers in border posts have to be alert on travellers who are coming from high risk countries such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan among other countries in order to safeguard the country from the virus.
She made the remarks on Friday when she presided over the handover ceremony of Covid-19 quarantine and screening facilities to the government of Malawi by United Kingdom (UK) government in partnership with Trade Mark East Africa.
"We need to be alert as a country. Health workers at the border posts have to make sure that travellers have Covid-19 negative certificates when entering the country."
"As a ministry we have issued a ban to travellers from high risk countries like India and we know people from these countries can land in Zambia and travel by road to Malawi so all agencies at the border have to be vigilant," Kandodo said.
The UK government in partnership with Trade Mark East Africa donated quarantine and screening facilities to four targeted border stations of Mchinji, Songwe, Dedza and Mwanza.
The Minister expressed gratitude towards the donation saying the facilities will go a long way in containing the spread of the disease while at the same time facilitating smooth trade flows across the main border and corridors.
She explained: "The timely support from the UK government is appreciated. This compliments government efforts as we fight this war against the Covid-19 pandemic. The quarantine facilities set up in four busiest border posts will strengthen capacity for our points to manage suspected cases of covid-19 and other emerging diseases among travellers".
British High Commissioner to Malawi, David Beer, said the donation came in as an effort to support the government of Malawi in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
"The quarantine facilities are part of a wider £0.5 million UK funded Safe Trade Emergency Facility that has provided Personal Protective Equipment to key front-line officials, and helped the Malawi Revenue Authority to create a "fast lane" for processing essential products such as medical supplies," he said.
The donation was delivered under a project called 'Safe Trade Emergency Plan for Malawi' (STEPM), which the Ministry of Trade is coordinating with the technical support from Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA).