Muchinga Province Minister Malozo Sichone has directed that no passenger buses coming from Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces will be allowed to enter Nakonde district.
The temporal ban, which will last for 14 days, is with effect from tomorrow Thursday, April 30, 2020. Mr. Sichone said the directive to halt the movement of all buses from the Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces is aimed at prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the province and allow massive screening for the virus in the border town.He added that banning buses from entering and leaving Nakonde district will protect the province from recording any case of coronavirus as health workers get on the ground to conduct massive screening.
The Minister said allowing public buses to get into and out of the province poses great risk not only to the people of Muchinga but the entire nation.Mr. Sichone said this when he received donations of hygiene materials and food items from China Railway Seventh Group and Tanzania Zambia Mafuta ( TAZAMA) pipeline limited in Chinsali.The donation will go towards the fight against COVID-19 pandemic and flood victims in the province.He said the fight against COVID-19 requires concerted efforts from all well-wishers as government alone cannot manage to stop the spread of the deadly disease.
On Monday this week, Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya announced that a team of health workers has been dispatched to Nakonde district in Muchinga Province to carry out massive screening for COVID-19. The planned massive screening in the border town of Nakonde follows reports that a Chingola couple that travelled from Dar-es-salaam in Tanzania through Nakonde, tested positive to COVID -19. A total of 22 people, among them bankers, who came into contact with the Chingola couple and workers at a named lodge where the two stayed for about four days, have since been put under quarantine for 14 days.The quarantine has been extended to a total of 107 families coming from the initial 22 people who came into contact with the Chingola couple while in Nakonde.
Meanwhile, China Railway Seventh Group Site Manager Tang Haisheng said the firm stands with the Zambian people in fighting the COVID -19 pandemic.Mr. Tang said this is because the universal virus knows no race or national borders hence the need to work together to fight it.He said the donation reflects the corporate social responsibility of his company and further demonstrates the cooperation between China and Zambia in fighting the pandemic.
Mr. Tang added that the donation also shows that the firm does not only build good roads and create jobs through various projects but it is also committed to fighting the negative impact on human beings in Zambia.
The road contractor donated 500 pieces of face masks, 100 germ guards, 22 sprayers, 1,000 tablets of hand washing soap, 200 bags of mealie meal weighing 25 kilogrammes each, 100 containers of five litres cooking oil and 100 packets of one kg brown sugar.
Meanwhile, Tanzania Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) pipeline has also donated assorted items towards the fight of COVID-19 worth over K 40,000 to Chinsali health office.TAZAMA pipeline Senior Public Relations Officer Kenneth Kalunga made the K1 million worth donation on behalf of the company.
Mr. Kalunga said TAZAMA has donated infrared thermometers, face masks, hand washing buckets among others to selected districts along the pipeline between Ndola in the Copperbelt province and Dar-es-salaam in Tanzania. He said the pipeline, working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health in Muchinga province, has also set up one inland screening point as a measure of protecting the region against COVID-19 pandemic.