By Linda Likomwa – Mana.
Government has chosen Chiradzulu Teachers Training College (TTC) to be a waiting centre for results of Coronavirus tests for South Africa returnees before they are sent to their home villages.
This was disclosed on Tuesday when Department of Disaster and Management Affairs (DoDMA) and Blantyre District Hospital Office (DHO) engaged Chiradzulu District Council to approve the proposal.
Blantyre District Health and Education Officer, Penjani Chunda said the TTC has passed the check list for human qualifier and it was fit to accommodate the returnees to be tested of Covid-19 before they proceed to their home villages.
“We have assessed the site and it is fit to accommodate the returnees. We assure you of security at the place because all security issues that were faced at the stadium were resolved,” he said.
He added that testing the people at Mwanza boarder has proved to be a long process as it took five hours to finish the testing and taking the samples to labs in Blantyre.
Chunda further said they could have used Blantyre TTC, but the facility has no running water and has other malfunctioning facilities which makes it not to pass the human qualifier.
He also said the Chiradzulu centre had been chosen because it was close to Blantyre and taking the samples to labs would not take long compared to Mwanza.
Speaking earlier, DoDMA Deputy Director, Dyce Nkhoma said the people were coming back into the country because they do not have jobs and the government of South Africa was only assisting its citizens with food.
He added that the returnees were booking buses on their own with their savings and that people should not think of them as the carriers of Coronavirus because some tested negative.
Chiradzulu District Health and Environmental Committee has asked DoDMA and Blantyre DHO to allow them re-assess the place because in February this year the Environmental Department at Chiradzulu DHO did the assessment at the facility and it found out that water was not running properly and toilets were blocked.
The department said the students were using a borehole which was used by staff to draw water and they recommended drilling of a new borehole and that solar panels should be installed at the college to help pump water into the tanks.
Chiradzulu District Commissioner (DC), Reighard Chavula said as council they were ready to give out the facility to be used because this was a national issue which needs collaboration but there was a need to also engage the community around the college.
Chavula explained: “Tye community has to be aware of what is happening because people have different perceptions about the pandemic. Our colleagues from Blantyre went to assess the place and the community has already started reacting negatively.
“Proper structures should be followed to talk to the community so that they understand it.”
So far, 17 buses have already arrived in the country and some are expected to start off from South Africa on Thursday.