N$1.1b corona budget stretched thin

Quarantining people over fears of the coronavirus has emerged as a huge cost factor in the fight against the virus.

05 May 2020 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK



Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula has confirmed that N$727 million of the N$1.1 billion coronavirus budget has been allocated to the acquisition of a number of services including accommodation for quarantine purposes.

Shangula could, however, not share how much it has cost government so far to keep close to 1 000 people in quarantine.

This includes a group of people who were initially placed in quarantine at Greiters Lodge and later moved to Okapuka Lodge, about 10 kilometres away.

Some people were also quarantined in the luxurious The Village Executive Suites in Windhoek's Eros suburb, while others were housed at the Hardap Dam Resort, Rock Lodge, Gross Barmen Resort and Zambezi Waterfront and Tourism Park.



Budget details

Currently, 218 people are still in quarantine.

Government has paid for accommodation, meals and transport.

The coronavirus budget also covers the purchase of equipment such as monitors and personal protection equipment, construction at Windhoek Central Hospital, renovation of the Robert Mugabe Clinic as well as unforeseen expenses.

The Robert Mugabe Clinic now operates as a screening and treatment facility, while Windhoek Central Hospital's casualty department is being remodelled into a 12-bed intensive care unit for coronavirus patients.



Unforeseen circumstances

“We do not know how long this situation will continue; it may bring some more needs that we need to take care of. And that is why provisions have been made in the budget for those unforeseen circumstances,” Shangula said.

The government has also upgraded existing medical facilities and established a 540-bed treatment centre at the former Rhino Garments Factory at the Ramatex Complex in Windhoek's Otjomuise area.

So far, just over 1060 people have been tested following the launch of a targeted testing campaign which includes frontline workers such as medical staff and journalists.

Namibia's official coronavirus count stands at 16 infected, of which eight people have recovered so far.



Namibian driver

Meanwhile, a Namibian truck driver tested positive for the deadly virus in Zambia on 19 April, and has been in isolation in that country.

According to Shangula, the driver entered Zambia via the Katima Mulilo border post on 19 April after loading cargo at Walvis Bay.

He was then released and travelled to Kasumbalesa before being called back to Masaiti where he was subjected to another test, which was positive.

According to Shangula, the driver was released to go home after he tested negative twice while in isolation.

“The ministry has initiated a contact-tracing exercise for all persons who may have come into contact with the truck driver while he was driving from Walvis Bay to Zambia,” Shangula said.

[email protected]

Similar News

 

Saving lives save money

1 day - 27 October 2020 | Health

Henriette Lamprecht - Cancer is one of the critical issues causing economic and financial burden in the world today. The disease is taking an enormous...

Voices of imposter syndrome

5 days ago - 23 October 2020 | Health

Do you recall that moment when you were about to apply for that job, attempt that business, speak at that event, advise that expert, organise...

Over 140 Covid positive learners kept on Oshakati SSS...

5 days ago - 23 October 2020 | Health

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOSHAKATI A total of 144 Oshakati Senior Secondary School pupils who have tested positive for Covid-19 are being kept at the school...

Covid regulations further relaxed as virus eases

6 days ago - 22 October 2020 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKThe limit on public gatherings has been increased from 50 to 200 people until 30 November, while all travellers arriving...

Find the puzzle pieces and win something pink!

6 days ago - 22 October 2020 | Health

Julienne van RooyenOnce you have collected all four pieces, you can email it along with your answer and contact details to [email protected] and then stand...

Cancer is not a before and after event in...

1 week ago - 20 October 2020 | Health

Henriette Lamprecht – Hearing the words ‘You have cancer’ has a profound effect on a person."Once you hear those words, you can't go back. Your...

Food insecurity on the rise

1 week ago - 20 October 2020 | Health

ERWIN LEUSCHNERSWAKOPMUNDMore than 400 000 Namibians need food aid.This figure was announced by George Fedha, Namibia’s World Food Programme (WFP) representative, when he called on...

San poverty fuels spread of skin disease

1 week ago - 19 October 2020 | Health

JANA-MARI SMITHWINDHOEKExcessive poverty and a lack of access to fresh water and hygiene products have been blamed for the spread of a disease, identified as...

Tackle Covid-19 stigma

1 week ago - 15 October 2020 | Health

JANA-MARI SMITH WINDHOEK With the normalisation of Covid-19 over the past year, stigmatisation has waned, but experts warn that confronting fear-based...

Distell launches campaign to keep shebeens safe

1 week ago - 15 October 2020 | Health

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEK Distell Namibia recently launched a drive aimed at ensuring that shebeens across the country continue to operate safely while adhering to...

Latest News

Education ministry to advertise 488...

5 hours ago | Education

The education ministry has, as part of their efforts of improving efficiency of use of resources, an internal audit was conducted to establish the magnitude...

Dead-end debt

17 hours ago | Economics

Jo-Maré Duddy – Government will spend about N$1.2 billion more in 2020/21 on interest on its debt than on its entire development budget for Namibia.The...

'Stuck without tap water since...

17 hours ago | Economics

A group of Helao Nafidi residents on Monday started excavating a traditional well to use as their source of water after the town council failed...

Emerging markets' debt tops US$4...

17 hours ago | Economics

US dollar-denominated debt in emerging markets has risen past US$4 trillion for the first time following a surge in issuance during the Covid-19 crisis, data...

'Calibre' of youth worries Swapo

17 hours ago | Politics

TUYEIMO HAIDULAOSHAKATI“We are ready to pass on the seats but when you see the calibre of young people we have and the utterances they make...

Old guard must go and...

17 hours ago | Politics

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKWalvis Bay Urban constituency councillor Knowledge Ipinge, who is vying to retain his seat in the upcoming local and regional authority elections, says it...

Pandemic slashes tourism by 70%

17 hours ago | Economics

Madrid - International tourists arrivals plunged by an annualised 70% during the first eight months of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Tourism...

China brainstorms new 5-year plan

17 hours ago | Economics

BEIJING - China's fifth Communist Party Plenum - which runs through Thursday behind closed doors – is expected to lay out the framework for the...

Namibians feel unsafe

17 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMITWINDHOEKNamibians polled by an international organisation say they do not feel safe walking the streets, while Namibia has once again been ranked as one...

Load More