The Zambian government has requested that trucking companies send relief drivers to fetch trucks for the quarantined drivers wherever possible. The government also wants companies to provide for the upkeep of the drivers in quarantine, according to a communique released by Truckers Association of Zambia (TAZ).

TAZ sent out the communique to it’s members but when SA Trucker contacted them for comment they refused to confirm or deny the statement.

It reads:

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE STAKEHOLDERS’ BRIEFING BY THE MINISTER OF HEALTH HON. DR. CHITAFU CHILUFYA, MP AND THE MINISTER OF TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATIONS HON. MUTOKWE KAFAYWA, MP HELD ON 5TH APRIL 2020 AT 09H30

The minister of health emphasised that Zambia was in a “state of public health emergency” because of covid 19 pandemic.

That Zambia was implementing a robust “scalable response plan” to COVID-19 in which a multi-stakeholder approach was required in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The quarantine of truck drivers at Kazungula and Livingstone/Victoria falls border posts over the few days has been worrisome to the government and something needed to be done about it.

As a result, the government decided to relocate the quarantined drivers from the border posts to Lusaka where drivers will continue with their quarantining programme in accordance with Standard Instrument 22 of 2020. Trucks are being parked at Makeni Dry port and at Heroes Stadium. Transport companies affected are allowed to send relief drivers to pick up the trucks subject to the cabins being sanitized by the Ministry of Health.

Quurantine period to commence from date of arrival in Zambia, therefore those drivers that have spent days at the border quarantine facilities, will have their days at University of Zambia (UNZA) reduced accordingly.

That as at 4 April 2020, 146 trucks had been escorted from the border posts to Lusaka . 57 of these are parked at the Makeni dry port and the balance at Heroes’ Stadium in lusaka.

Drivers had been taken to the UNZA School of Veterinary Services, which has been turned into an approved public quarantine facility.

The government through Lusaka Province Administration, provided temporary catering services for the quarantined drivers.

Drivers for refridgerated trucks had requested that they be left to sleep in their trucks for the purpose of ensuring that the temperature is maintained at correct levels to avoid products going to waste.

Another 57 trucks left livingstone for Lusaka this morning (Sunday 05 April 2020) under police escort.

The biggest challenge at the moment was the welfare of drivers. That truck owners and employers of the quarantined drivers needed to take care of these drivers during quarantine period as the mandatory quarantining was not sustainable to the government.

Going forward government plans to:

  • Escort all trucks arriving at our borders to Lusaka
  • On arival in Lusaka, drivers will be placed in quarantine at UNZA or an approved quarantine facility paid for by the relevant company
  • Trucks will be parked at Makeni dry port or Heroes Stadium
  • Companies can send relief drivers to collect trucks, after cabins have been sanitized by Ministry of Health.

Transporters were therefore requested to contribute towards:

– providing upkeep for drivers in mandatory quarantine

– arranging relief drivers, where possible, to replace those drivers that have been quarantined so that cargo can be delivered to consignees.

– providing facilities which the Ministry of Health can designate as quarantine.

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