Walvis Bay residents don't listen – Shangula

The health minister and his predecessor Dr Bernhard Haufiku have placed the blame for Walvis Bay becoming the epicentre of the country's Covid-19 outbreak firmly on the shoulders of the town's residents.

26 June 2020 | Health



As the country's Covid-19 infections rose to 90 yesterday, with 11 new cases recorded in Walvis Bay alone, the town's residents have been accused of gross disrespect for rules and regulations.

Both health minister Kalumbi Shangula and presidential health advisor Dr Bernard Haufiku accused Walvis Bay residents of not sticking to the rules when it comes to social distancing, limiting travel and other precautions needed to stop the spread of the virus.

A whopping 40 of the country's coronavirus cases are from Walvis Bay.

These include a prison warden who transmitted the virus to a colleague and more than five family members.


Following these developments, Kuisebmond and the area surrounding the local prison were identified as hotspots by the health ministry, which immediately expanded its targeted testing and is searching actively for contacts.

According to Shangula, this spiral of cases is a result of the town and region's residents failing to adhere to health and safety regulations.

“People do not follow the directives which are given to them.'

There was a lockdown which compelled people to be at home, but those measures were not observed fully. Social distancing, staying at home and wearing a mask are elementary things that people are failing to do and that is why transmissions are taking place,” he said.

'Virus found its hole'

Haufiku also said the developments in Walvis Bay show exactly how transmissible the virus is and how it can manage to spread in one community.

“There was a hole and the virus found its hole. There is something in the set-up, interaction and travelling that allowed the virus to find its way easier into Walvis Bay. Even during the first and second lockdown, people were still moving between Walvis Bay and other towns and there was also a vessel of about 100 people that docked at the port recently.

“These are all loopholes that the virus found in our response,” Haufiku said.

He added that he believes the infection rate has not peaked yet and may only reach its peak after a few more weeks or a month or two.

Higher risk

According to Dr Eric Dziuban, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention country director, it was always expected that Walvis Bay would present a higher risk for Covid-19 transmission than many other parts of the country.

“This is because of the port, and the fact that so many truck drivers from other countries are either beginning or ending their routes in Walvis Bay,” he said.

According to him, the number of infections will continue to rise, because of the active surveillance and contact tracing by the health ministry.

He, however, added that Namibia is still in a position to control and delay the spread of the virus.

Constant vigilance

“It means we have more control of the situation right now, and if we continue to be very vigilant, we can still slow down or even stop widespread transmission in Namibia,” he said.

Dziuban also said it is remarkable that Namibia has less than 100 Covid-19 cases when neighbouring South Africa has recorded well over 100 000 cases, with more than 2 200 deaths.

“This pandemic is most easily influenced by our actions and there are key actions: The appropriate controls of the movement of people, the acceptance of wearing masks and the ministry's ability to aggressively and thoroughly investigate every case,” Dziuban said.

[email protected]

Similar News


Walvis Bay prisoners in panic mode

19 hours ago | Health

OTIS FINCK AND OGONE TLHAGEWalvis Bay/Windhoek An inmate at the Walvis Bay prison is deeply concerned about hygiene at the correctional facility, which employs 77...

Pensioner's Covid-19 recovery brings hope

1 day - 06 July 2020 | Health

ERWIN LEUSCHNERWALVIS BAYWhile coronavirus cases in Walvis Bay continue to increase, there is now a success story in the port city: Rudi Witulski (63), who...

Quarantine options under stage four

4 days ago - 03 July 2020 | Health

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKPeople who do not want to commit themselves to quarantine facilities funded by the state will have the option to do so once the...

Vessel at sea as crew waits for Covid-19 results

5 days ago - 02 July 2020 | Health

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKA fishing vessel of Cadilu Fishing is at sea while its crew waits for tests done on two of its members to determine whether...

NDF builds field hospital at Walvis

5 days ago - 02 July 2020 | Health

ERWIN LEUSCHNERWALVIS BAYWhile the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases at Walvis Bay rose by a record number yesterday morning, the military announced that it will...

More infected moms isolated with babies

1 week ago - 30 June 2020 | Health

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKMore women who have tested positive for the Covid-19 are in isolation together with their minor children, Namibian Sun has established.The executive director in...

Corona peak 'still coming'

1 week ago - 29 June 2020 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES AND ADOLF KAURE WINDHOEK/WALVIS BAYWith the country's Covid-19 cases reaching 150 yesterday morning, there were 105 confirmed cases in the Erongo Region, of...

WBCG halts HIV testing of truck drivers

1 week ago - 26 June 2020 | Health

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEK The Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG), which facilitates HIV...

Walvis Bay residents don't listen – Shangula

1 week ago - 26 June 2020 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEK As the country's Covid-19 infections rose to 90 yesterday, with 11 new cases recorded in Walvis Bay alone, the town's...

Governor tests negative for Covid-19

1 week ago - 26 June 2020 | Health

Adolf KaureSWAKOPMUND Erongo governor Neville Andre has tested negative for Covid-19 after undergoing a voluntary test last Friday. Speaking during a Covid-19 update...

Latest News

SPYL's Sikongo hands over seeds...

19 hours ago | Business

The Covid-19 pandemic has taught Namibia not to rely on other countries for imports of food, but instead produce its own food, as those countries...

Esau offers N$23m assets for...

19 hours ago | Crime

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEK Disgraced former fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau yesterday denied that either he or his son-in-law Tamson Hatuikulipi had in any way benefited from...

Swartbooi 'awakening sleeping lions'

19 hours ago | Politics

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEK The Namibia National Liberation Veterans Association (NNLVA) says Landless People's Movement (LPM) leader Bernardus Swartbooi is “awakening sleeping lions” by calling founding...

Walvis Bay prisoners in panic...

19 hours ago | Health

OTIS FINCK AND OGONE TLHAGEWalvis Bay/Windhoek An inmate at the Walvis Bay prison is deeply concerned about hygiene at the correctional facility, which employs 77...

Big Oil confronts possibility of...

19 hours ago | Business

JULIEN MIVIELLEAlthough crude prices have rebounded from coronavirus crisis lows, oil experts are starting to ask if the industry has crossed the Rubicon of peak...

Lifestyle audits will uncover rot

19 hours ago | Opinion

Is it any coincidence that Namibian politicians own so much wealth whose source not even arithmetic geniuses can yet establish?Is it just by sheer luck...

German restaurants still hungry for...

19 hours ago | Business

By FLORIAN CAZERESThere's no sign of the usual lunch crowd at Berlin's Zen Kitchen, with just a few scattered diners dotting its terrace despite the...

GBV victim camps at police...

19 hours ago | Police

ILENI NANDJATOONDANGWAA gender-based violence (GBV) victim camped at the Ondangwa police station this past weekend after she was turned away on Friday and told to...

Girl (4) drowns at Swakop

19 hours ago | Crime

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK A four-year-old girl drowned this past weekend in Swakopmund, while her mother also nearly lost her life during a rescue...

Load More