KEETMANSHOOP – Statistics provided until 24 September 2020 indicated that 62% out of 333 Covid-19 confirmed cases in the //kharas region emanates from cross border travelling.
This was revealed by health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula during the inauguration of quarantine facilities at the Noordoewer and Ariamsvlei border posts last week. He added that four people succumbed in //Kharas due to the coronavirus up to date.
“I am greatly honoured to express my heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the Anglo American Namibia Foundation and De Beers Group who has granted us this unique opportunity to witness the effort and achievement in the form of the newly constructed Port Entry facilities,’’ said Shangula.
The minister went on that these facilities are the first of its kind at the two border posts.
‘’These facilities contain screening and testing rooms for all passengers entering Namibia and offer services for temporary admission of sick passengers or Covid-19 suspected cases,’’ he continued.
He also said the facilities will be manned by nurses and environmental health officers on a 24-hours basis whereby clients needing hospitalisation will be transferred to the nearby Karasburg hospital.
The minister emphasised that although the declaration of the state of emergency by President Hage Geingob ended, Covid-19 has not relented.
“This has necessitated the operationalisation of the Public and Environmental Act of 2915 under which the pandemic is currently being controlled and manage,” the health minister then clarified.
Explaining the role of the ministry’s port health facilities he said it is, amongst others, to contribute towards the prevention and control of the spread of the international spread of diseases and to create a safe environment at these entry points to Namibia.
“Port health services is also responsible for the inspection of goods, commodities, chemicals and conveyances apart from undertaking disease surveillance, screening and reporting of disease and public health conditions from external sources that may threaten the health and safety of the people of Namibia,’’ he said.
Shangula added as per current regulations, all passengers entering Namibia will be subjected to mandatory screening and testing and quarantine for a minimum period of seven days; “any vehicle entering Namibia will have to provide background documentation to the health ministry about the country of origin, number of passengers and goods transported,’’ he then detailed.
The minister also applauded the sponsors for putting its priorities within the country’s various development programmes that are in line with Sustainable Development Goals and the Covid-19 response.
“I call on Ariamsvlei and Noordoewer communities to take ownership of these beautiful facilities and guard it against vandalism and theft in order to remain in its current position,’’ he concluded.