KEETMANSHOOP - //Kharas governor Aletha Frederick says it has become challenging for health authorities in the region to accommodate patients contracting Covid-19 due to a lack of isolation facilities.
She raised this concern during a recent official handing over of medical equipment meant to help curb the further spread of the coronavirus in the region.
“We have three health districts namely Karasburg, Lüderitz and Keetmanshoop in the region who all need to be served by one Covid-19, 12-bed isolation centre in Keetmanshoop,’’ she lamented.
Frederick added this shortage makes the transportation of affected patients challenging and difficult.
“By law and health regulations, patients who pass away at the isolation centre and hail from the other two health districts cannot be buried in Keetmanshoop anymore and so they now need to be transported to their respective places of residence within Karasburg and Lüderitz health districts,” she added.
The governor also said external factors such as proper transportation in terms of health protocols and also the availability of health workers and law enforcement agencies to accompany families when transporting the remains of their loved ones are some of the challenges on the ground.
“If we as government and the other stakeholders can manage to build additional isolation facilities at the other two health districts, we can overcome this hurdle.”
The governor continued health authorities are sometimes forced to convert available rooms at the Keetmanshoop district hospital into isolation facilities due to a lack of space at the isolation centre, which at times might be a health risk.
“It is hereby my clarion call on all members of the business fraternity and entities to come on board, meeting government halfway in order to establish additional, critically needed isolation centres in //Kharas region,’’ she said. When approached to comment, //Kharas regional chief medical officer, Rufanus Kooper told New Era despite a lack of isolation centres, the region was coping with the situation to a certain extent. “We have managed to convert the previous TB ward on the second floor into a corona ward after relocating the TB patients,’’ he said.
He also added medical doctors at the two outside districts (Karasburg and Lüderitz) are well equipped and trained to intubate patients under quarantine.
“It is only when patients are presenting severe Covid-19 symptoms that they are referred to Keetmanshoop district hospital,’’ he added.