KEETMANSHOOP – Recent large social gatherings in the //Kharas region are, according to summaries submitted, proof that most of the Covid-19 cases were contacts of confirmed cases.
This information is contained in a joint response shared with New Era by the //Kharas regional health directorate and ministry of health spokesperson Manga Libita.
The proximity to South African borders entails the borders are used by truckers, transporting essential goods and services, which further contributed to the rise in Covid-19 cases in the region.
“Truck drivers, who are furthermore tested at border points, are still allowed to proceed to their final destinations, as results are not readily available,” said Libita.
She added these drivers do not at times adhere to health protocols, since their bosses are more concerned with making profits, and they fear losing their jobs.
The statement further reads that a recent engagement party and cultural meeting held in Keetmanshoop led to several local transmissions of the virus.
“Family and friends from Keetmanshoop, Karasburg, Lüderitz and Windhoek attended these two gatherings, which have increased the number of local transmissions,’’ Libita explained in the ministerial response.
She continued that those who tested and await their results also continued with family gatherings and visiting others without taking proper precautionary measures.
In terms of the region’s capability of isolating possible contact traces, Libita responded Covid-19 is an ongoing pandemic; thus, there is a constant need for more quarantine and isolation centres.
“Some clients are, however, placed under self-quarantine/isolation when their homes are deemed fit to do so by the environmental health team,” she said.
Libita then gave the assurance that the region is, however, coping under the prevailing and demanding circumstances.
Regarding the contingency plans in place to address the unforeseen crisis with regard to the coronavirus pandemic, Libita explained the region has drafted Covid-19 response plans with the support of World Health Organisation and have, in addition, different pillars in place to deal with different activities to curb the disease accordingly.
“The existing support from the business fraternity and community at large can still be strengthened, seeing that it will be required should cases continue to increase.”
The Anglo-American Foundation in Namibia has also come on board and assisted with the setting up of health facilities at entry points of the Ariamsvlei-and-Noordoewer border posts.
“Once these facilities are functional, people entering these borders will be screened for high body temperatures and presentation of Covid-19 related symptoms, tested and quarantined if so required in terms of laid down health protocols,’’ she said.
Information contained in it also stated that regional Covid-19 task force has been established, whereby meetings are regularly held to discuss challenges and recommendations concerning Covid-19 through information sharing.
The region currently has isolation space available for 88 patients at the following health districts: Keetmanshoop (48), Lüderitz (35) and Karasburg (5). In terms of quarantine facilities, it has a total of 387 beds available, consisting of Lüderitz (176), Karasburg (145) and Keetmanshoop (66).
Statistics provided up to 6 September 2020 indicates that //Kharas region recorded a total of 219 Covid-19 cases, representing three deaths, 95 active cases and 121 recoveries.
It furthermore states that from the 95 active cases, four are health workers.