District commissioner for Chasefu district in Zambia Mustapha Banda said while they are enforcing measures to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus in their border areas with Malawi, their Malawian counterparts are doing very little on the issue.
Banda said mobile markets, bars are not operational in the Zambian side of the borderlines around Mqoucha and Mbalachanda and that churches and other gatherings are only operating on strict guidelines saying the same is not true on the Malawian side.
"If certain issues which we are doing in Zambia and are not done in the Malawian side then it becomes a problem for us to fight the virus," said Banda
"Let me give an example of bars, in Zambia bars are closed but in the Malawian side bars are open and people from our side cross over to this side in search of these services, the same applies to church services, so someone can transfer the disease to Malawi from Zambia and the other way round," said Banda
However acting district commissioner for the Mmbelwa district council Precious Kantsitsi said the district has similar measures in place but will need to work on enforcement mechanisms.
"We have similar measures that we have put in place and the policies that we are following are similar but maybe we are differing in terms of enforcement maybe they started earlier we have just started but what we have noted is that they are far much ahead than us," said Kantsitsi.
"We are not late we will catch up with them because we already banned gatherings following instruction from government and we will ensure that the issue of the porous borders and other issues that have been mentioned here are addressed," said Kantsitsi.
The joint meeting which aimed at mapping up strategies for combating the spread of the coronavirus agreed on establishing screening and quarantine centers at border posts for travelers plying their trade between the two countries
It was also agreed that on the Malawian side efforts must be made to ensure enforcement of measures which are in place to combat the spread of the virus.