Eveline de Klerk
WALVIS BAY - Covid-19 has claimed three more lives at Walvis Bay, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to seven.
Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula yesterday announced one fatality was reported at the state hospital, while another two at a private facility.
They are all males, aged 49, 58 and 64. Shangula also announced 22 new positive cases and a record of 15 recoveries. “Our total number of Covid-19 cases are 1 366, of which 1 302 are active cases. We have also tested 18 454 samples, while 648 people are in quarantine,” he said.
Frustrated in quarantine
Meanwhile, frustrated Walvis Bay residents, who are currently quarantined at the National Youth Service facility at Henties Bay, packed their bags and attempted to leave the facility yesterday morning.
A standoff ensued between the security forces guarding the premises, who had their hands full, as those in quarantine complained they are treated worse than prisoners by the authorities, and that it is best they go home. A woman, who has been quarantined for over 14 days, told New Era there was no point for them to stay at the “overcrowded” facility anymore. She said some of those quarantined are on chronic medication, which they cannot access from the facility.
“At this stage, we don’t know who recovered, who eventually tested positive and whether the virus has spread further among us. The situation is chaotic. None of our leaders has come to see us – at least from a distance, but all we read in the media is that everything is under control,” said the frustrated woman.
She also explained that one of the residential blocks has been flooded since Monday – and despite reaching out to nurses, no one answered their calls.
“Our section, where we are about 65, was flooded by sewage this morning (yesterday). We had to step in that dirty water, further exposing ourselves. We are all using one bathroom,” she added.
A nurse, who requested anonymity, said about 400 people are accommodated in the quarantine facility. However, she said not all the space has been utilised, as there is a shortage of beds.
“Apart from that, some people are kept at the facility for more than two weeks without getting swabbed – and all they say is there is a shortage of staff. The release of the results is a major problem, as some people have been waiting for more than a month to get their results,” she said.
The nurse also said there is no coordination among the local health sector and staff members, as some are being called and informed they tested negative but are still at the facility.
“Some test negative but they are still among those who don’t know their results, sharing the same toilets,” the nurse added.
Erongo governor Neville Andre yesterday told New Era health director Anna Jonas and chief medical officer Dr Amir Shaker were sent to Henties Bay to resolve the situation.