By JOHN KOMBE
Eastern Province has stepped up COVID-19 screening after neighboring Malawi recorded five confirmed cases, provincial minister, Mr. Makebi Zulu has said.
Mr. Zulu who disclosed this in an interview with the Daily Nation, said the province being a border town was on high alert in order to ensure no COVID-19 cases were imported into the country.
He stressed that the disease surveillance health team had dispatched more staff border areas and would continue to screen anyone entering the country through its borders in the province.
He said the borders were a key area and the teams would receive maximum support from government in the execution of their duties.
He disclosed almost all district health offices in the province had identified isolation centers for Covid-19 suspected cases. He pointed out that Chipata Central Hospital was the key isolation centre in the province and was ready to handle any suspected Covid-19 case.
He also disclosed that the Chipata City Council had offered a building to be used as a quarantine centre and described this as a timely gesture as it would increase the capacity of isolation centres in the event that the number of patients increased.
Mr. Zulu earlier appealed to the residents to ensure they adhered to government directives aimed at stopping the spread of the pandemic.
He said social-distancing was important if the fight against the Coronavirus was going to be won.
He called for mindset change among residents whom he urged to their wash hands with soap or alcohol based sanitisers to enhance hygiene.
Mr. Zulu who is Member of Parliament for Malambo constituency stressed that the closure of bars would needed to be enhanced to promote social distancing to fight the pandemic.
He further described the directive by President Lungu to recruit more health personnel who would include doctors and paramedics as a step in the right direction.
“The President directed that more health staff be recruited and as a province we would be happy to receive a boost in that area so thatcapacity is enhanced,” he said.