A man wearing a face mask sells masks and gloves in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday, March 20, 2020. Anxiety rose in Africa's richest nation Friday as South Africa announced coronavirus cases jumped to 202, the most in the sub-Saharan region, while the country's largest airport announced that foreigners would not be allowed to disembark. And state-owned South African Airways suspended all international flights until June. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
A man wearing a face mask sells masks and gloves in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday, March 20, 2020. Anxiety rose in Africa's richest nation Friday as South Africa announced coronavirus cases jumped to 202, the most in the sub-Saharan region, while the country's largest airport announced that foreigners would not be allowed to disembark. And state-owned South African Airways suspended all international flights until June. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

Malawi left red-faced as four Chinese travellers gain entry without testing for coronavirus

By Siviwe Feketha Time of article published Mar 23, 2020

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Johannesburg - The Malawian government has been left fuming after four Chinese nationals were permitted to gain entry into the country through a court order without being tested, despite the decision by its government to ban travels from high-risk countries.

Malawian President Peter Mutharika had announced strict controls and preventative measures in the country despite having no confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Mutharika’s spokesperson Dr Bright Molande who spoke to South African media on Monday afternoon said 14 Chinese nationals had been found trying to enter Malawi on March 17 and were ordered to return back to their country. Only 10 of them had return tickets.

“We quarantined the four, pending that they must secure their return tickets and go back because we are not taking any chances as the government. While that was happening, their lawyer came with a court order that these people must be released,” Molande said.

He further explained that the court order by Judge Kenyatta Nyirenda, which the government was appealing, had caused an uproar in Malawi as citizens were concerned that it could expose them to the virus since the Chinese nationals had not been tested before they were released.

“As the government we have also taken a very strong position against this court order. This is unacceptable,” he said.

He said the decision by Judge Nyirenda had undermined the country’s efforts to protect citizens from the virus.

On March 23, the government reported that Kenya the confirmed number of coronavirus cases in the country stood at 16.

Online news site Daily Nation reported that the government had " re-iterated that all passengers coming into the country between now and Wednesday, when all flights except cargo will be halted, must quarantine."

Political Bureau 

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