By Eveline De Klerk
Walvis Bay — Healthcare workers at Walvis Bay have started the process of mass testing for Covid-19 in order to stave off a wave of infections at the harbour town.
The process includes testing all primary contacts of all seven people that have so far tested positive for coronavirus at the town.
Erongo governor Neville Andre yesterday told New Era the testing is being done behind the Walvis Bay state hospital and started this week.
According to Andre, the health ministry will also be testing secondary contacts of all Covid-19 cases at the town and residents suspected of having been exposed and are showing early symptoms of the virus. Twenty correctional officers were also tested, while 13 inmates were due to be tested yesterday after coming into contact with two prison officers who have tested positive.
A cautious Andre also said that they are expecting more people to test positive as the town has local transmissions.
"We really need our residents to be on high alert. They should also call the local hotline if they feel or show symptoms of Covid-19. The health ministry will then send an ambulance to test you or take you to a quarantine facility," he said.
He, however, could not say how many people were tested at the town by yesterday.
Meanwhile, Namibia's Covid-19 cases increased to 39, after three more cases were recorded yesterday. A 20-year-old man from Walvis Bay tested positive in Mariental on Wednesday.
The man, who is a schoolgoing pupil, travelled to Mariental from Walvis Bay and went to school on 1 June but stayed at home from 12 June.
Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula yesterday said the man went to the clinic in Mariental on 15 June after showing symptoms of Covid-19 that he had been experiencing while in Walvis Bay already.
"He was swabbed on Monday and tested positive on Wednesday and is currently in isolation," Shangula said. The Mariental school yesterday announced the suspension of classes until 6 July 2020, while hostel boarders will be quarantined for a period of 14 days.
The second person who tested positive is a 22-year-old student who travelled back to Namibia from England on 4 June. Her initial test results came back negative but she was retested on Tuesday and her results came back positive. The third person is a 55-year-old woman from Swakopmund with no travel history. She was swabbed at home as a result of active case search in the community when she was found with fever and general body pain. Her results came back positive on Wednesday and she is currently being treated at the Cottage hospital in Swakopmund. Namibia now has 39 confirmed cases, with 19 recoveries and 20 active cases.