• July 13th, 2020

Zambezi only has four isolation beds

The Zambezi region is in dire need of isolation beds to handle potential cases of Covid-19. 
Currently, the region has recorded one case of Covid-19, after a Malawian doctor who was returning from his country of origin tested positive last week at Katima Mulilo. 

The doctor is in isolation at the Katima Mulilo state hospital. Regional governor Lawrence Sampofu confirmed the lack of isolation beds in the region. Sampofu said the region only has four isolation beds at the moment at the Katima Mulilo state hospital.
“We have a task force in place. We have an isolation ward at Katima Mulilo hospital with four beds. The hospital only has two rooms that are equipped to keep patients,” he said. According to him, the regional leadership has made a request to the health ministry in April for more isolation beds but their request has not been answered. Sampofu noted they need the government to upgrade two identified isolation facilities, namely the Katima Mulilo and Chotto clinics. 

“We are still waiting for the ministry of health to respond to our request. They need to upgrade these facilities identified as isolation wards,” he maintained. The governor appealed to residents to remain calm and adhere to safety and health protocols of social distancing, hand sanitising and wearing of masks. Meanwhile, the region is also battling the issue of illegal border crossings. According to the governor, Zambian nationals illegally crossing into Namibia made the situation worse. These nationals cross illegally via the dry port of Kamenga and Wanela border posts. 
He said since the dry port is a 100 kilometres stretch, people are just moving in day and night. Although the law enforcement officials such as the Namibian police and the defence forces are patrolling the borders, Sampofu said these officers could not be everywhere all the time due to the area’s vastness. Furthermore, he said, Zambians were also using canoes to cross illegally into the country via the Zambezi River.

The Zambezi River has a 117km stretch, of which he said some areas are not accessible by police officers and soldiers. Sampofu said these nationals cross into Namibia and bring contrabands such as alcohol, maize meal and cooking oil to sell to the locals. 
“Our law enforcements are working hard but people continue to cross illegally. Namibians are also a problem because they are sending Zambians to smuggle these illegal goods into the country,” he reacted. “Some find Covid-19 as an opportunity to do business which is not good at all. People should respect the state of the emergency regulations,” he warned. – anakale@nepc.com.na 

Albertina Nakale
2020-06-24 09:40:50 | 19 days ago

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