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Virus-stricken patients evade quarantine

2020-07-27  Eveline de Klerk

Virus-stricken patients evade quarantine
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WALVIS BAY – Frontline workers at the coastal towns of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay have observed it has become an uphill battle to trace some people who tested positive for Covid-19 and require quarantine.
Health director of Erongo region Anna Jonas last Friday said they have a hard time tracking down some people, who simply vanished into the community after they were informed that they tested positive for Covid-19. 

“The trend now is that people choose not to go for isolation and would rather provide false personal details. In some cases, they would be called and a pickup time would be arranged. However, when it is time for them to be picked up, they simply switch off their phones or simply don’t answer,” Jonas explained.

According to Jonas, this is also one of the reasons local transmissions keep increasing, especially at Walvis Bay, making it hard for health workers to cope with the increasing caseload of Covid-19.
Walvis Bay is currently the epicentre of Covid-19, responsible for at least more than 80% of the country’s cases.
Existing quarantine facilities in Erongo region only have 400 beds available, while more than 2 000 people, who have been in contact with Covid-19 patients, need to be quarantined. 

There are currently more than 600 people in isolation in the town. However, some people who were tested are currently still at home due to the unavailability of sufficient beds for isolation.

A high-level delegation visited Walvis Bay after being sent by government to assess the medical situation on the ground.
The deputy minister of labour and employment creation, Hafeni Ndemula – previously a regional councillor from Walvis Bay, headed the delegation, which consisted of deputy minister of urban and rural development Derek Klazen, deputy minister of health and social services Esther Muinjangue, deputy minister of education, arts and culture Faustina Caley and deputy minister of home affairs, immigration, safety and security Daniel Kashikola

Ndemula on Friday said they will all go into quarantine as soon as they arrive in Windhoek today but he will finalise their findings and submit the report to government while in quarantine.

2020-07-27  Eveline de Klerk

Tags: Erongo
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