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Returnees protest quarantine

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Chimwemwe Shaba

There was brief commotion at Mapanga Prison Training College along the Blantyre-Zomba Road when Malawian returnees from South Africa demanded their passports and immediate release from the quarantine centre.

The returnees blocked the road while others were seen throwing stones at passing vehicles.

Riot police fired teargas to control the situation involving scores of returnees.

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Limbe Police deputy spokesperson Widson Nhlane confirmed the development, adding that they managed to control the situation before it got out of hand.

“I don’t have much information about the incident but I can confirm that police officers went to the scene to control the situation and they managed it before things got out of hand,’’ Nhlane said.

Malawi Prison Service spokesperson Chimwemwe Shaba has expressed disappointment over the conduct of returnees, saying the damage they have caused is costly.

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He said the department was yet to assess the damage caused.

“For us it is very unfortunate that the returnees from South Africa could not understand the rationale behind quarantining them at the facility,” Shaba said.

Ministry of Health (MoH) spokesperson Joshua Malango was not available for comment b u t records indicate that authorities have quarantined 518 returnees who arrived in the country through Mwanza Border on Saturday.

As the numbers of people being infected by the second wave of coronavirus continues to rise, the government has put in place measures for people to follow in preventing the further spread of the novel coronavirus.

Recently, the government enforced Covid-19 restrictions, one of the measures being the closure of bars at 8pm.

Public Health Institute of Malawi daily Covid-19 update indicates that, by Saturday, MoH had recorded 8,306 confirmed cases, with 381 new cases and 12 deaths— bringing the total number of deaths to 220.

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