A joke that a woman who had tested positive for Covid-19 was a relative to a police officer caused an “embarrassing” false alarm at the Namibian police headquarters last week. The scare resulted in over 40 members of the force being sent home over fears the officer might have contracted the virus after coming in contact with her aunt.
In a statement, police spokesperson Kauna Shikwambi said an investigation revealed the aunt of the police officer reportedly suffers from sinusitis, and on 21 June 2020, she jokingly informed her family that she had tested positive for Covid-19.
“This is the joke that was brought to the police national headquarters on 22 June 2020,” stated Shikwambi.
She said upon receiving such information, police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga directed over 40 members of the police force, who had access to the fifth floor of the police headquarters, to leave the premises and to self-isolate.
Shikwambi said the information caused the police an embarrassment, while the member who caused the panic had to be dealt with.
Shikwambi stated the fifth floor was disinfected and an internal investigation was launched to determine the alleged positive case, as well as possible contact tracing.
Ndeitunga has reminded and encouraged everyone to verify the information they may wish to circulate, as it may turn out to be untrue and misleading, which can lead to confusion and panic.