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Walvis isolation facilities not comparable - health

2020-09-07  Eveline de Klerk

Walvis isolation facilities not comparable - health
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WALVIS BAY - A Covid-19 isolation facility constructed by government at the Walvis Bay state hospital and one erected by a local private hospital are not comparable, health ministry executive director Ben Nangombe said on Friday. 
Nangombe came out in defence of the prefabricated government facility with a capacity of 24 beds after social media users questioned the cost thereof compared to the aluminium marquee, with a 40-bed capacity, erected by the Welwitschia Private Hospital at a cost of N$1.9 million. Government reportedly spent N$12 million on its facility. Similar facilities have also been constructed across the country. 

The private hospital last week indicated that they will keep their facility up for as long as it’s needed. They also indicated that most of the parts the hospital was assembled with are rentals while some can also be sold to recover the cost. 
“A cursory look at the two facilities will show that the technologies used in the ‘construction’ of the one facility and ‘erection’ of the other, are not comparable. While one is a durable structure with a minimum lifespan of a generation, the other is, as can be seen, a tent. Any comparison between the two units therefore is simply not tenable,” Nangombe said in a statement. 

He also explained the government allocated significant resources towards the Covid-19 preparedness and response and has constructed similar structures in preparation throughout the country. 
“The isolation unit is not limited to Covid-19 pandemic only, it is a long-term investment infrastructure for the ministry to manage all infectious diseases that arise from time to time such as Crimean fever and cholera. By any objective measure, the resources have been put to good use,” he said. 
Nangombe also explained that the ministry chose to utilise the proven technology of chromadek panels that are durable, yet versatile, adding that similar structures have been constructed to serve as isolation facilities in preparation for notifiable infectious diseases such as Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever, anthrax and Ebola.

2020-09-07  Eveline de Klerk

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