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 31 May 2020

PREPARING ... The Esplanade Park accommodation facility at Walvis Bay is being made available to quarantine people during the Covid-19 lockdown at the harbour town. Photo: Taati Niilenge


THE Walvis Bay Municipality will make accommodation available for use as quarantine facilities during the harbour town's Covid-19 state of emergency lockdown.

This is one of the decisions taken after Erongo governor Neville Andre Itope liaised with the Erongo Regional Council, Walvis Bay Municipality, health sector and security forces to look at the implications of Walvis Bay reverting to stage 1 of the Covid-19 lockdown.

It was decided that the town's municipality would make temporary quarantine facilities at its Esplanade Park and Dolphin Park available to the ministry of health.

In the meantime, health officials and the security forces in the region are at work using surveillance footage and individuals to trace all people

who may have come into contact with the lorry drivers who left a quarantine facility at the town last week. One of the drivers has been tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Medical staff have also been identified to assist in the region.

“Twenty medical graduates will be deployed to the Erongo region, of which six will be deployed at Walvis Bay and the rest to Usakos and Omaruru respectively, to strengthen case management, surveillance and contact tracing," the governor said at an information meeting on Friday.

"There are currently two houses available for the medical personnel. Testing equipment has also been requested and will be available for community testing, especially the people that the truckers came into contact with,” he said.

He also said plans are progressing well for the construction of a Covid-19 treatment facility at the town, since the ministries of works and health approved the first phase of its construction on Thursday.

“The first phase is the one of the TB ward that will be renovated and turned into rooms. The property belongs to the Ministry of Works and Transport, and this process is what caused the delay. We also had to send it to the Ministry of Health and Social Services so that they can look at the layout plan and all the other procedures that they needed to follow," Itope said.

There are currently 132 people under active contact tracing at Walvis Bay. Fifty-two people are in quarantine at Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, while 242 lorry drivers are also currently in quarantine.

SOURCE: The Namibian