Lockdown fully enforced at Walvis Bay

01 June 2020 | Local News



Walvis Bay is now home to three active coronavirus cases after a 51-year-old man tested positive for the virus last Saturday.

According to health minister, Dr Kalumbi Shangula, the man was a colleague of case number 22 on a general cargo vessel, which visited the Democratic Republic of Congo recently. The latest patient is in a stable condition and is not showing any symptoms, health authorities said.

“Case number 22 is also currently in a stable condition, showing positive dynamic in respiratory function. He is still on a ventilator.”

The local law enforcement officers immediately sprang into action to enforce lockdown regulations after an announcement by President Hage Geingob. On Thursday night, officers started blocking long-distance bus drivers at the Walvis Bay Bridge. People without necessary permits to travel out of the harbour town were told to turn back.

Inspector Ileni Shapumba, head of community affairs in the region, said they will enforce the law with no exceptions.

“No travelling out of Walvis Bay without a permit. We should be considerate of others. We should interrogate the reason why Walvis Bay was placed on lockdown and take it up from there. People should please stay at home.” By Friday morning, a roadblock was operational at the Swakopmund Bridge.

Erongo region governor Neville Andre announced that more places have been identified at Walvis Bay to serve as quarantine and isolation facilities.

“The Walvis Bay Esplanade Park and Dolphin Park are ready to be utilised as quarantine facilities. The Esplanade Park will provide 17 rooms and the Dolphin Park will provide 21 rooms, of which one is suitable for doctors or health personnel,” he said.

“Testing equipment has been requested and will be available for community testing, especially for those persons who came into direct contact with the positive Covid-19 cases in Walvis Bay.”

He added that 21 medical graduates will be deployed to the region, of which six will be deployed at Walvis Bay and the rest to Usakos and Omaruru.

“This is to strengthen case management, surveillance and contact tracing. “Additionally, there are currently two houses available for the medical personnel to stay in.”

There are currently 132 people under active contact tracing and 52 people in quarantine (27 at Swakopmund and 26 at Walvis Bay). Over 200 truck drivers are also currently in quarantine. Over the weekend, local law enforcement started with patrols in Narraville, Kuisebmond and the CBD areas of Walvis Bay.

“Our duty as law enforcement is to enforce the regulations in place and this should not be taken as punishment, but rather as protection. Our members are briefed accordingly to ensure that they perform their duties professionally.”

He mentioned that only two cases were reported over the weekend in relation to the violation of lockdown regulations.

“One case reported was of a taxi driver who overloaded his vehicle in terms of the regulations. The other case is the supplying of false information.”