WALVIS BAY – A Russian man, who is part of 126 foreign crew that arrived via a chartered plane in Windhoek last Friday, tested positive for Covid-19.
The fishing sector, according to Erongo health director Anna Jonas, is being allowed to quarantine foreign crew on vessels as long as they receive prior approval from the relevant authorities and are tested to ascertain their virus status. The 127 foreign crewmembers boarded vessels to replace another group of foreign crew that departed for Europe on the same day.
The man, referred to as a specialist crew member, is employed by Erongo Marine Enterprises (EME) and is currently quarantined on one of their vessels.
The managing director of the company, Martha Uumati, yesterday said 60 of their crew members who arrived on Friday were all tested and given a clean bill of health in their countries before their departure for Namibia.
“This is exactly why we took the extra precautionary measure of testing all our specialist foreign crew members upon arrival in Namibia again, as they were on the crew change flight with other crew members, passing through airports and many other points of contact. They are currently in quarantine onboard our vessels, while those who tested positive are in isolation. There are no Namibian crew members onboard our vessels,” Uumati explained.
She added that the crew is confined to the vessels is currently the safest place to ensure the situation remains under control and that no possible infection of Namibian community members or crew takes place from imported cases.
“At this stage, the foreign crew are in quarantine on the vessels Desert Ruby and Desert Jewel and have been there since their arrival in Walvis Bay. Prior to this, the Namibian crew disembarked from the vessels and were moved to three land-based quarantine facilities, where they will remain until all crew members are cleared of Covid-19 and fishing can resume,” she said. Meanwhile, Covid-19 infections in Namibia increased to 861 after 76 people tested positive for Covi-19 yesterday. At least 759 people are currently in quarantine, while 28 have recovered, and one person died. So far, 14 698 samples have already been tested for Covid-19 in the country.