Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has urged all Namibians to stringently follow public health guidelines to decrease the spread of the coronavirus, which will ultimately remove the need to open new field hospitals.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila was speaking during the official handing over of the field hospital at the Windhoek Central Hospital yesterday morning.
She said government is constructing isolation facilities around the country to make more beds available for Covid-19 patients.
“The facility development/upgrading programme includes the private sector sponsored 70-bed field hospital we are witnessing today, Katutura TB wards extension, Oshakati field hospital/tent and construction of prefabricated isolation facilities at identified hospitals around the country. Most of these facilities are envisaged to be completed between August and October 2021,” she said.
She added government has also repurposed the old Namibia Institute of Pathology building and the Katutura nurses hall will follow soon to provide additional isolation bed units in Windhoek.
“Currently, there are 1 732 isolation beds countrywide in the public and private sector of which 143 are ICU beds. Provision has also been made to increase mortuary capacity at hospitals around the country and to increase oxygen supply and procurement of medical equipment and supplies, including the pharmaceuticals used in the treatment of Covid-19,” she said.
Speaking at the same event, health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said government is pleased to state that the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), conscious of its social responsibility, took a decision to complement its efforts by increasing bed capacity, provision of oxygen supply and by providing refrigerated containers for the preservation of human remains.
Moreover, the NCCI president Bisey /Uirab, at the same occasion, said the facility can support up to 70 Covid-19 positive patients at any given time.
“It is our hope that this hospital will have a positive impact on Namibia’s ability to stem the spread of Covid-19. Supporting our healthcare workers who will be caring for patients at this facility and other treatment facilities across the country is critical to Namibia’s effort to slow the spread of Covid-19,” he said.
“On behalf of the NCCI, I am truly humbled and deeply grateful for all the immeasurable contributions and support by all our private sector partners who are involved in this project and who continue to work tirelessly around the clock in our collective efforts to fight against this pandemic.”
The Namibian business community is committed to helping the country implement effective health efforts and improve its capacity to safely isolate and treat confirmed Covid-19 cases by working together in partnership with our government through the ministry of health.
He added the NCCI believes that it is necessary to maintain and intensify public-private dialogue.
“In this regard, prime minister, the NCCI kindly urges the government to fast-track our earlier calls for a formalised dialogue mechanisms with the private sector, which, among others, will strengthen the role of the business community in the country’s economic development process. Given the unprecedented situation we are going through, it is important for the private sector to give its contribution, in order to mitigate the negative impact and minimise the consequences for the private sector and the economy in general,” he said.
/Uirab further stated the NCCI emphasises state institutions that take into account the recommendations of the private sector have a greater chance of setting the right priorities and designing and implementing the reform process in line with the needs of the private sector.
“The NCCI reiterates its commitment to actively contribute and to support legislative and executive institutions in the policy-making process. But a well-structured and inclusive public-private dialogue is needed to identify bottlenecks, opportunities and possible interventions for private sector development,” he emphasised.