President Edgar Lungu has directed for the temporal closure of Nakonde Border effective tomorrow 11 May 2020, health minister Dr. Chitalu Chilufya has disclosed.
The closure comes after the surge in COVID-19 cases in the area and to facilitate mass screening , contact tracing and to ensure that various measures are implemented to avoid further spread of the virus into and out of Nakonde which has now become the epicenter.
Speaking during the latest update, Dr. Chilufya, therefore, said cases in Nakonde are being analyzed and validated and a comprehensive figure will be given in tomorrow’s update.
Dr Chilufya, however, disclosed that 15 new cases have been recorded in Lusaka out of the 250 tests done in the last 24 hours while 5 more discharges have also been recorded.
“The cases are 1 from Chilanga 3 from Chawama,3 are from Chipata compound, the other 3 are from the catchment area of Levi Mwanawasa hospital,1 is from Ngombe and from 3 people who traveled via Ethiopian airlines through Kenneth Kaunda International Airport,” he said.
He said cumulatively cases now stand at 267 with discharges at 170, while active cases are 143 with 7 deaths.
“With effect from tomorrow no traffic will be allowed in and out of Nakonde and please ensure that you stay at home,” Dr. Chilufya said and assured that a swift response will be done in a multisectoral approach with other line ministries to ensure that all is done effectively.
Dr. Chilufya further assured that the government is being transparent at every stage and clarified that the President is not being misled with the numbers emphasizing that numbers of cases are reported as they are received.
“We have no business playing around with numbers, we have no business of not being transparent because that does not add value to the COVID-19 response,” Dr. Chilufya said.
And Home Affairs Minister Steven Kampyongo has said that his ministry will in the course of this week deploy more officers to Nakonde district during the period of the temporary closure.
Mr. Kampyongo said that the police officers will be deployed to the district to ensure that law and order is maintained amidst of observing the public health regulations.
Mr. Kampyongo said that members of the public must cooperate with the police and to avoid been caught off guard. Mr. Kampyongo has further urged the traveling public to stay away from Nakonde during the temporal closure to avoid unnecessary inconveniences from the police.
He has since advised the residents of Nakonde to avoid unnecessary movements by staying home.