• July 9th, 2020

China, Namibia and the coronavirus

As Namibia’s large Chinese population and the ambassador are trying to calm Namibians, do we have reasons to be worried? The coronavirus, a near-fatal disease started in Wuhan, in the Hubei province in China, is treatable if diagnosed in early stages. The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that the cure for the virus is 18 months away (Sky News, 2020).

One of the best defences against coronavirus from China was the closing of the borders so that anybody leaving China could be checked before leaving. This decision alone saved many lives already and the WHO stated through Al Jazeera that they trusted the Chinese to be in control of the virus. The problem for Namibians is the weak healthcare system. Even though the Chinese ambassador promised assistance, the government cannot rely on China for own inadequacies. A case in point is the report on a possible case of coronavirus in Swakopmund when “Health ministry executive director Ben Nangombe says laboratory tests for a 30-year-old woman who was quarantined at Swakopmund on suspicion that she was infected with the new coronavirus must be done in South Africa because Namibia does not have the necessary equipment’’ (The Namibian, 02/02/2020). Health facilities in Namibia have, since independence, been used by the ever-increasing population without improved or more state facilities being built. This was made worse by inept management who focused on corruption, and the appointment of cadres into key positions for which they had no experience or qualifications. 

Because of the coronavirus, Namibia’s future is closely linked to the future of China. The writer makes this case because if this virus, which is uncontrolled at this juncture, has no remedy and starts to move around the world, Namibia, with its inept medical equipment, should be worried. Namibia was supposed to leverage its resources in building infrastructure such as hospitals and schools or even requested China to build proper hospitals and modernise along the lines, but the ruling party was too busy getting loans to build offices, palaces, more homes for presidents and roads. Even the State-owned enterprises got into the game of borrowing huge sums of money from financial institutions. 

 The official position of the Landless People’s Movement will be to require the Chinese government to start assisting Namibia with necessary medical equipment to protect Namibian and Chinese lives in Namibia. The problem being faced by the world is that there still is no cure for the coronavirus. The only solution for China and other countries currently is preventing the spread of the virus but no curing it. What should be clear at this point is that if there is no cure and people are still travelling between China and Namibia, the chance that the coronavirus will end up in Namibia is high. The choice Namibia has to make is to do what North Korea did with their weak medical facilities, which is to close its border with China. When will Namibia do this sensible action? Or is our leadership too captured or corrupt to care about ordinary citizens of this beautiful country? 

Staff Reporter
2020-02-28 07:36:50 | 4 months ago

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