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Kalabo’s Libonda Health Centre deserted

LIBONDA Rural Health centre in Kalabo district, which is usually crowded, has been deserted since Thursday following reports that Covid-19 suspects from Kafue would be quarantined there.
However, the suspected contacts from Kafue were later released and told to go home after screening.
The health centre was shut down after three people who reportedly attended the funeral of a Covid-19 patient in Kafue were rounded up and put under quarantine at the clinic.
The incident sparked a major health emergency in Western Province with Ministry of Health officials and the police panicking on how the trio managed to travel that far on public transport without being stopped.
The trio allegedly escaped the massive security dragnet ordered by President Edgar Lungu thrown around Kafue town and boarded a bus in Lusaka on April 14 and travelled to Mongu after attending the funeral of their relative who is believed to be the man from Kafue who died at UTH and was only discovered to be positive after his death.
According to Ministry of Health sources in Mongu and Kalabo the three people’s disappearance was first noticed by Ministry of Health investigators in Kafue who put up a red alert for them.
Health officials and the police were ordered to stop all buses going to Western Province and search for the trio.
The hunt for them was launched on April 15 the day of the lockdown in Kafue after it was discovered that they were missing from the funeral house which had been put under quarantine.
Police hunted for the trio in Mongu and Limulunga without success after it was learnt that they were travelling to a village near Libonda royal village.
On Thursday it was learnt that in a bid to escape the dragnet the trio had decided to travel by dug-out canoe from Mongu to Libonda.
Ministry of Health officials in Kalabo ordered the police and Libonda clinic staff to ensure that the trio did not enter their village.
When the suspected Covid-19 escapees finally arrived at their village at Siton’u, about 5km from Libonda, the alert villagers ordered them not to disembark but go straight to the clinic where police and health staff were waiting for them.
It is reported that as soon as the canoe in which they were travelling appeared fellow villagers shouted to them not to come near the village but head straight for the clinic, which they did.
As soon as they arrived at the clinic other patients were ordered to leave immediately, the clinic was closed and the trio was locked in one of the wards awaiting the emergency team from Mongu.

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