By Leonard Masauli – Mana.
People of Likoma have requested Ministry of Transport and Malawi Shipping Company (MSC) to devise strict measures of Covid-19 prevention for passengers using MV Ilala
Vessel to further contain the spread of thepandemic.
The request comes barely three days after the district registered its first Coronavirus case on July 18.
Traditional Authority Mkumpha III made the call Tuesday during a meeting which was organized by National Initiative for Civic Education Trust (NICE) on the prevention of Covid-19 in the district.
Mkumpha said the Ministry of Transport and Malawi Shipping Company should quickly institute measures to prevent further spread of the pandemic especially on the MV Ilala Vessel which is congested most of the times.
“MV Ilala is mostly congested and travelers and its crew are at higher risk of contracting the pandemic. We kindly request authorities of the ministry and MSC to quickly come up with strict measures of preventing the spread of the virus within the vessel.
We are not saying they should reduce the capacity as this is the only mode of transport to on and offshore travelers. However, making it a must for travelers to be putting on face masks would be ideal,” said Mkumpha.
In his response, Public Relations Officer for the Ministry of Transport, James Chakwela said some of the prevention measures include reducing the number of passengers on the vessel and ensuring that social/physical distancing is strictly adhered to at all times.
“We have been appealing to the public to be abiding by the set prevention procedures. The Ministry, Department of Marine, MSC and Ports Authority cannot on their own win this fight. We need the public to be proactive in observing the prevention measures,” said Chakwela.