Gold mine digs deep

Erongo governor Neville Andre has warned that the lifting of the state of emergency by President Hage Geingob recently does not imply that Namibia has won the fight against Covid-19.

28 September 2020 | Health

OTIS FINCK

Karibib



The QKR Namibia Navachab Gold Mine has inaugurated a N$2 million Covid-19 quarantine facility at Karibib.

The Klippenberg Covid-19 facility, which consists of four prefabricated container units, can accommodate patients who are not in a position to self-isolate. The four-bed facility was constructed to reduce the burden on the health ministry and is a way of encouraging mine staff to be tested for the virus.

The facility will also be made available to members of the broader community, should the need arise and if space permits.

Access to and from the facility, which also has an onsite laundry, is controlled by a security officer.



Tangible contribution

Erongo governor Neville Andre thanked the mine for its tangible contribution.

His speech at the inauguration of the facility last week was read on his behalf by the Erongo council's chief regional officer Ludmilla Habate Doeses. “This is yet another indication of the willingness of the private sector to meet government halfway in mitigating some of the effects of the pandemic. I am heartened by the gesture and impressed by the fact that the facility will be made available to members of the broader community. This is a real show of community spirit.” Andre warned that the lifting of the state of emergency by President Hage Geingob recently does not imply that Namibia has won the fight against Covid-19.

“It does not mean the pandemic is no more. It merely means that as individuals, we must take up more responsibility for our own safety and protection.”

QKR Navachab Gold Mine managing director George Botshiwe said the mine is honoured to play a small part in local and regional endeavours aimed at flattening the curve of Covid-19 infections and fighting the pandemic.

He added there was enough available space on the 28-hectare area the facility is located on to expand, should the need arise.

“It has been inspected, given the health ministry's seal of approval and is registered as a quarantine facility. The ministry retains the right to time inspect the facility as well as monitor the health of any of the patients referred to the facility at any time.”

Botshiwe added that health and safety of mine staff had recorded 15 positive Covid-19 cases to date.

“Eight of those 15 have since recovered, with seven active cases remaining. We have not lost anyone due to the virus and none of the patients were seriously ill.

The mine tested 100 staff members and screened 200 employees. We have the capacity and kits to take swabs at the mine and send it to a lab for testing.”

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