Government has started rolling out increased measures to contain the growing coronavirus outbreak by quarantining 35 Namibian citizens who were trapped in Europe. The 35 arrived in the country on Saturday morning and were immediately whisked away to the Greiters conference centre on the outskirts of Windhoek for a mandatory quarantine of 14 days. According to an online newspaper, passengers were told about the mandatory quarantine period because of the state of emergency declared by President Hage Geingob last week. Upon their arrival at the Hosea Kutako International Airport, the group was driven in
municipal buses to the centre in the Brakwater area.
The Dutch airline KLM announced that it would suspend flights to Namibia as from 27 March due to Covid-19 outbreak until further notice. Health ministry executive director Ben Nangombe said following the state of emergency declaration, there were measures and interventions put in place in order to control the spread of the disease. “One of the measures is that arriving passengers from specified countries have to be subjected to supervised quarantine,” he told NBC news at the weekend. More than 300 000 have been infected with the virus, while over 13 600 have died. Namibia has confirmed three cases involving foreign nationals. The first two cases involved a Spanish-born Romanian couple who had arrived in the country earlier this month. A third case was also confirmed after a German national who had arrived in the country from Amsterdam via Zimbabwe tested positive. The outbreak has forced government to come up with a number of preventative measures, including suspending flights to and from Germany, Qatar and Ethiopia. Schools have also been shut down until 14 April, while the authorities have suspended the issuance of visas to foreign nationals from coronavirus high-risk countries such as Schengen states, China, Iran, South
Korea, United Kingdom, United States of America and Japan. Treasury has committed N$124 million
to help fight the virus.
Hospital visits limited Meanwhile, the health ministry last week also announced it would restrict inpatient hospital visits to about 15 minutes from one hour to limit the risk or spreading of Covid-19. The directive also stated that it would allow one visitor per patient in all wards. “All family members are encouraged to communicate with loved ones via phone when possible,” read the directive. In addition, Nangombe told New Era that Covid-19 outbreak needs serious response from everyone and it is important they put measure in
place to particularly reduce the number of people congregating in one space. “You have people already
in there who are ill so we are saying we don’t know whether a member of the public has been exposed
to the Covid-19 virus, hence it’s important when we come to our loved ones in hospitals that we do
not stay too long in order to limit the possibility of others contracting the virus,” explained Nangombe.
2020-03-23 09:52:32 | 13 days ago