OLIVER SAMBOKO writes
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has ordered the lock down of Nakondetown and border with effect from today.
This means that there will be no moving in or out of the border town, Health minister, Chitalu Chilufya announced yesterday during a Covid19 update.
Dr Chilufya said this is to facilitate for massive screening and testing in the border town, which on Saturday revealed 76 positive covid results.
The health minister also announced that the testing would commence in all border points to ensure the spread of the coronavirus is curtailed.
Other measures announced include mass screening and testing in Lusaka’s hot spots which include among others, Ng’ombe, Chawama and Chilanga townships.
And on Saturday Chief Chipepo of the Tonga people had advised that Nakonde town be locked down following the high number of covid cases revealed in the massive testing going on.
Chief Chipepo said in an interview that following the recording of 76 cases in the district, there was need for the Ministry of Health to move in quickly to conduct door-to-door screening.
He said Government should also consider conducting mass tests and screening in all border towns to ascertain the extent of the spread of Covid-19 in areas bordering other countries.
And Chief Chipepo has said following the recording of Covid-19 cases in Chirundu from six foreign truck drivers that came through the one stop border post, there was a likelihood that that the virus had spread across the town.
“The disclosure by President Lungu during his 4th national update on Covid-19, that six truck drivers tested positive at Chirundu Border calls for Government to immediately lockdown the town and conduct mass screening,” he said.
He said with the announced opening of examination classes, there was need to have the district combed of Covid-19 before schools are allowed to re-open on June 1.
“The risk is very high risk hence the need for Government to immediately order health workers to move in and stop any further spread of the virus before the district becomes an epicenter like Nakonde border town,” he said.
Chief Chipepo said apart from the high number of foreign truck drivers from Covid-19 countries, the district was receiving a lot of other foreign visitors who are coming as tourists in the lower Zambezi National Park.
“If Kafue town was locked down for recording three confirmed positive cases, what about Nakonde and Chirundu that have recorded 76 and six cases respectively?” he said.
He said mass screening and testing for Covid-19 was key to saving lives not only at the border areas but also at national level.