By Scoop Reporter
…… As it assures the public that there was no contact between the passengers and COVID-19 samples
GOVERNMENT says it will give a detailed report once investigations are concluded into the death of Ian Mutambo, the biomedical technologist from Zambezi in North-Western Province who died in an accident involving a Power Tools bus in Kabompo yesterday.
Asked why the COVID samples were transported using a public service vehicle, Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya yesterday said there is nothing sinister about it as that was not the first time it was done.
He said the situation in Zambezi where Mr. Mutambo was coming from was such that there was a decision made for them to transport the samples using public transport because the vehicle they had was being utilised for referral of patients.
He said at that time, a decision was made that they could not delay in delivering the consignment to Lusaka and therefore, resorted to using public transport but that an investigation will be conducted.
“I must be quick to mention that while an investigation will be done to establish all the facts, preliminarily, we should note that it is not the first time samples for surveillance are being transported by public transport. It is extremely unfortunate and very sad that this colleague of ours, young Ian Mutambo, met his fate while on duty.
“He is a bold and gallant soldier, a patriot who has died at the frontline and we salute him and respect him posthumously. We will however give a detailed report after the commission that usually investigates deaths on duty completes its duty. Therefore, the issue of compensation will be addressed administratively after the commission does its work,” Dr. Chilufya said.
Asked if there was a possibility that the samples could have come into contact with the other passengers who were on the bus, Dr. Chilufya said there was no such a possibility as the samples were secured.
“It is important to note that the packaging of the samples is in a triple layer and there is no risk of the samples coming into contact with people during conveyance. We use triple packaging for transportation of the sample and the box where we put these triple-layer packaged samples is isolated,” he said.