Zambia closes border with Tanzania amid COVID-19 cases surge

APA-Lusaka (Zambia)

President Edgar Lungu has ordered the temporary closure of the border between Zambia and Tanzania with effect from Monday in a move meant to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus in the border town of Nakonde, Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya announced Sunday.

Chilufya said Lungu had directed that the Nakonde Border Post be closed to incoming and outgoing traffic starting on 11 May following a surge in COVID-19 cases in the area.

According to the minister, Nakonde recorded 76 coronavirus cases on Saturday alone, prompting the government to close the border as part of its disaster management measures.

“With effect from tomorrow (Monday) no traffic will be allowed in and out of Nakonde and please ensure that you stay at home,” Chilufya said.

He said the border was meant to enable the authorities to undertaken mass screening and contact tracing in the border town.

The spike in Nakonde cases saw the total number of COVID-19 cases in Zambia rising to 267 as of Sunday.

The border closure has however affected hundreds of crossborder traders from landlocked Southern African countries such as Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, especially importers of second-hand Japanese vehicles who use the route to go to Dar es Salaam Port for their imports.


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