WALVIS BAY – The confirmation of a second positive case of Covid-19 involving a correctional facility officer has fuelled fears of community transmission at Walvis Bay.
Residents have appealed to the authorities to roll out mass testing as soon as possible to avoid a catastrophe at harbour town. This follows after two correctional service officers in Walvis Bay tested positive for Covid-19, while 12 of their colleagues were placed under quarantine.
One of the officers tested positive on Saturday, while the other officer tested positive this week. Both have no travel history, sparking further fears of local transmission. Family members of inmates at the facility yesterday expressed their concerns, saying inmates are at risk in contracting Covid-19 since they have close contact with correctional officers.
“We want the government to ensure the safety of our children and family members, as one does not know how far Covid-19 was spread,” said Johanna Urikhos, whose son is an inmate at the facility. However, Erongo governor Neville Andre told New Era yesterday that one of the officers used to take prisoners to court for their scheduled court appearances before the first lockdown of Erongo.
“That was three months ago and since courts have been closed, she has not been in direct contact with the inmates,’’ he explained yesterday.
Neville also indicated that all prison visits have been stopped. An urgent meeting was expected to take place yesterday afternoon to discuss how the correctional facility and the emergency response team will address the new Covid-19 cases and the situation at the facility.
Health ministry executive director Ben Nangombe yesterday said all precautionary measures will be taken to ensure the safety of both inmates and officers.
“We will mitigate the prison if necessary as we take the health and lives of everyone seriously,” Nangombe explained.
The entire Erongo region is currently under stage one lockdown.
Truckers test positive
Meanwhile, health minister Kalumbi Shangula yesterday announced that two Namibian truck drivers have tested positive for coronavirus in Botswana. According to Shangula, one driver drove from Gobabis to Botswana, while the other collected cargo from Walvis Bay and proceeded to Botswana. They were on their way to South Africa but were turned back to Namibia after their results came out positive.
Both truck drivers are currently in isolation at Gobabis. Their cases were not added to the locally detected ones, as they tested positive in Botswana.
Eveline de Klerk
2020-06-17 10:14:10 | 1 months ago