Zambia closes border with Tanzania to tame Covid-19

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People wash their hands at Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Zambia will Monday be shutting its border with Tanzania after the country witnessed the highest spike of Covid-19 infections on Saturday. PHOTO | ERICKY BONIPHACE | AFP

Zambia will Monday be shutting its border with Tanzania after the country witnessed the highest spike of Covid-19 infections on Saturday.

As it widened screening, Zambia recorded 85 cases on a single day with three deaths related to the pandemic.

Of the cases, 76 were recorded in Nakonde, the border town with Tunduma in Tanzania.

On Sunday, the country recorded 15 new cases after 250 tests.

Zambia Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya said the country is temporarily closing the Nakonde border starting Monday, May 11, 2020.

RETRAIN HEALTH WORKERS

The closure is meant to facilitate the retraining of health personnel and carrying out of more screening in Nakonde.

“No traffic will be allowed in or out of the district,” Dr Chilufya said.

It was unclear how long the border will remain shut.

Zambia President Edgar Lungu last week announced the reopening of some sectors of the economy like casinos and gyms which were shut on March 18, saying the economy is taking a hit due to lack of activity.

He said the companies ought to find a way of operating under the new normal as they observe measures meant to slow down the spread of the virus.

So far, the country has recorded 267 positive cases while recoveries stand at 117 and deaths remain at seven.

Nakonde is among Zambia’s largest border posts, acting as a gateway to East Africa.