More isolation facilities needed

With the vast majority the country's coronavirus cases stemming from Walvis Bay, the harbour town is in desperate need of resources.

14 July 2020 | Health

LEANDREA LOUW

WALVIS BAY



Walvis Bay doesn't have enough quarantine and isolation facilities, with anonymous sources claiming that several people in Kuisebmond are yet to go into isolation, despite testing positive for the coronavirus.

During a Covid-19 update over the weekend, Erongo health director Anna Jonas said the region is also in need of transportation for patients and human resources to do contact tracing as well as data capturing.

Currently, 98% of the country's Covid-19 cases stem from Walvis Bay.

“For each positive Covid-19 case, there are about 20 to 30 contacts. The ministry has continuously provided us with personal protective equipment and we have also received ventilators,” Jonas said.

Increasing oxygen capacity

“We are busy increasing our oxygen capacity since there are only 28 beds with oxygen points at the old TB ward at the Walvis Bay hospital.

“The garages that were converted into an isolation facility will have about 15 oxygen points, but they can only be added after the patients currently in the facility have been moved somewhere else.

“We are also in the process of converting general wards to serve as isolation facilities to increase our oxygen capacity,” Jonas added.



Crew change

About 127 fishermen, who arrived from Europe last Friday, have been quarantined on fishing vessels in Walvis Bay.

Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula granted the fishing industry permission to carry out crew changes in a document signed on 10 June.

In his letter, Shangula approved the embarking and disembarking from Carapau 1, Jupiter-1, Venus-1, Desert Ruby, Desert Jewel, Mediva Star and Caveman Star of foreign crews, on the basis of precautionary measures being taken and testing, as well as a 14-day quarantine, in line with ministry procedures.

Jonas said this is not the first time a crew has been quarantined on vessels.



Strict measures

“We had people being quarantined on vessels for 14 days and tested on day 12 before they disembark. Only when all crew [members] test negative for Covid-19 will the vessel be allowed to travel to its next destination.

“There are strict measures to be applied when a crew is quarantined onboard, since each individual needs to be in a self-contained cabin,” Jonas explained.

“When the foreign crew boarded the vessel, we made sure there were not any of the other crew members onboard.”

Erongo governor Neville Andre said a police officer will be stationed on the vessel.

“A qualified medical practitioner will be aboard the vessel to check the daily temperature and apply other necessary medical duties.”

Earlier last week, when 43 crew members onboard a vessel tested positive for Covid-19, the health director said the crew will be placed in an isolation facility and will not remain onboard.

“We are working on it,” Andre added.



Decongestion strategy

Andre said 60 mass houses are available at Walvis Bay and 100 at Swakopmund to decongest informal settlements.

On Friday, he said the Walvis Bay houses will be allocated to beneficiaries on waiting lists.

“The inhabitants in congested spaces will be relocated temporarily to extensions 16 and 18. The municipality of Walvis Bay will enter into a temporary contractual arrangement with the people who will be moved in. A total number of 600 community members will be moved to the new site, adjacent to Twaloloka informal settlement,” he said.

“Extensions 161 and 162 in Swakopmund will be utilised to relocate people. The municipality will service the area at own cost.”



Stadiums, other buildings

Andre said both local authorities will make stadiums and other buildings available to relocate more people.

“There are an additional 29 houses for immediate occupation, but this will be done considering the existing waiting lists of the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) and the Swakopmund municipality. There are 111 houses under the Mass Housing scheme, but these houses, as per our information, are currently under litigation and cannot be occupied. The rest of the available houses under the Mass Housing initiative need renovation and it would be a costly exercise,” Andre said.

He added that other solutions to relocate people temporarily are also being considered.

Similar News

 

Leaders must reveal their corona status - Simataa

1 day - 13 August 2020 | Health

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKSecretary to cabinet George Simataa, who recently tested positive for Covid-19, believes that high-ranking officials who have tested positive should declare their health status...

PM in isolation as Stage 3 returns

1 day - 13 August 2020 | Health

Restriction of movement now nationwideThe Prime Minister, her deputy and the cabinet secretary are all grounded as the government swiftly moved to restrict movement amid...

Walvis, Swakop ‘escapees’ sent back

1 day - 13 August 2020 | Health

LEANDREA LOUWWALVIS BAYMembers of the security cluster in the Erongo Region have sent back 30 residents who tried to use backroad “escape routes” out of...

25% of kids 'stunted, impaired'

1 day - 13 August 2020 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKOne quarter of Namibian children are malnourished, with stunted growth and impaired mental development, because of the country's high food insecurity, according to...

#Covid19SafetyChallenge closing date extended

3 days ago - 11 August 2020 | Health

Justicia Shipena LifeLine ChildLine, through Uitani Radio, invites young people of all ages to participate in the #Covid19SafetyChallenge.This competition aims to monitor how many...

Covid-19 looms over Windhoek

4 days ago - 10 August 2020 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEK Windhoek is increasingly becoming the new epicentre of the country's Covid-19 outbreak with 32 out of 50 cases reported...

Pupil who spat on desks tests negative for corona

4 days ago - 10 August 2020 | Health

Kenya Kambowe RUNDU A grade 11 Mupewa Combined School learner who had been in close contact with a Covid-19 patient,...

Contraceptive shortage: 27 900 unintended pregnancies feared

1 week ago - 06 August 2020 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKA study predicts that up to 27 900 unintended pregnancies may occur in Namibia because of a shortage of contraceptives brought about by the...

39 health workers test positive for Covid-19

1 week ago - 05 August 2020 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKTo date, 39 healthcare workers have tested positive for the coronavirus, putting Namibia’s Covid-19 response under pressure.On Monday and...

Shangula got me fired – Haufiku

1 week ago - 04 August 2020 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKSacked presidential health advisor Dr Bernhard Haufiku yesterday said his sudden dismissal was engineered by health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula.According to...

Latest News

Thought leadership

22 hours ago | People

NDANGI KATOMAIn a very short time, the coronavirus has changed so much about our lives.It is easy to think you’ll never get ahead when you...

Marketing through the lens of...

22 hours ago | People

ESTER KAMATIAs part of the DOLOLO group of entrepreneurs and a 2019 alumnus of the Africa Pathfinders Leadership initiative, Andreas Elifas’s objective is to attain...

Price monster hungry

22 hours ago | Economics

Although annual overall inflation in Namibia last month stayed unchanged at 2.1%, annual overall food inflation increased to 6.2% - up from 4.9% in June...

Tough times for mines in...

22 hours ago | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – Of the 16 operating mining companies included in the latest annual review of the Chamber of Mines of Namibia, six last year...

Fishing quota auction storm grows

22 hours ago | Fishing

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKGovernment's decision to auction off its fishing quota, and then use the proceeds to finance its efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic is continuing...

Samherji begs for release of...

22 hours ago | Fishing

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKIcelandic firm Samherji, which is at the centre of the Fishrot bribery scandal, has asked Namibian authorities to release its fishing vessel Heinaste, which...

Education kneecapped by shortage of...

22 hours ago | Education

KENYA KAMBOWERUNDUEducation minister Anna Nghipondoka says Namibia has a backlog of over 5 000 classrooms, which has made it a challenge to comply with the...

Growing hip-hop in the north

22 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE WINDHOEKSkipper Wills' breakthrough came in 2017 when he was selected to take part in the Old & New hip-hop documentary. He has since...

Kay-Z Bearens on his 2020...

22 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

MICHAEL KAYUNDE WINDHOEK Rapper Kay-Z Bearens released his first single in 2015, and though on the underground scene, he's pushed his music over the years.In...

Load More