Covid ravages old-age home

11 March 2021 | Health

Elizabeth Joseph

KEETMANSHOOPThe 'Ons Tuiste' old-age home at Keetmanshoop has confirmed that in the last week, four of their staff and six of their residents have tested positive for Covid-19.

One of the residents has died of the illness. They have had two recoveries.

The management at the home was shaken when the results of three patients came back positive. Riaan Steenkamp, chairman of the board, confirmed these unfortunate events yesterday.

According to Steenkamp, it has been difficult, especially for frail-care patients.

"We have since divided the facility into three main parts, Red, Orange, and Green. Furthermore, the ministry of health and social services has also been of great help by setting up an isolation facility at the home, doing all our tests free of charge and further giving us all the protective gear that we might need to curb this virus," he said.

One of the ill residents, who had been transferred to Windhoek, passed away. According to Steenkamp, the deceased suffered from other illnesses before Covid and had been ill for quite some time.

Steenkamp assured the public that they are doing everything possible to make sure that the cases don't multiply and that they are working closely with the ministry to make sure that the patients heal as fast as their bodies allow.

Locked down

"No one will be going in or out of the facility until we are 100% sure that the situation is under control. We will also have a cubicle with someone to screen everyone that enters, especially the employees. I have also set up over 30 cameras to further make sure that all the regulations are strictly followed and applied.”

The facility has spent more than N$80 000 on extra equipment since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak in Namibia.

"It is extremely difficult for us because the patients cannot see their children or relatives at this moment and they are deeply distressed, but there are certain things that we absolutely cannot bypass," Steenkamp said with tears in his eyes.

All the kitchen utensils and other equipment are sterilised, as is the medication that comes from the pharmacy.

They are waiting for further results after the entire staff and all residents were tested two days ago.

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