Covid-19 care facility a beacon of hope

Fully occupied

01 July 2020 | Health

Walvis Bay


Erongo governor Neville Andre officially handed over a 13-bed care and quarantine facility for Covid-19 positive patients at the Walvis Bay state hospital to the health ministry.

At the time of the handing over, the facility housed in three refurbished garages, was already fully occupied by patients.

Namdock facilitated the conversion of dilapidated garages into a 13-bed facility at an estimated cost of N$700 000.

The governor hailed the completed project as a great initiative.

“Namdock is playing an active role in our communities in terms of its corporate social responsibility projects. Namdock has spent more than N$1.1 million on a number of projects through the ECC. Some of these include the installation of 36 oxygen points, the conversion of a storeroom into toilets, and the repair and installation of an additional 36 oxygen points at the Swakopmund state hospital, to mention a few.”

The governor emphasised that Covid-19 id not a government issue alone.

“We all should partake in fighting this pandemic. We are in debt to everyone who has generously contributed to this cause and those still continuing to do so.”

Heritha Nankole Muyoba, the acting CEO of Namdock and chairperson of the Erongo Corona Care initiative (ECC), said that the health ministry revised the initial 24-bed plan to 13 beds to include a changing room for medical personnel at the facility.

“It is a privilege for us to contribute towards the containment and effective management of the Covid-19 pandemic in the area where we operate. Namdock converted the three garages, fitted it with a new ceiling and painted the wards. Jospeh Haimbodi donated N$12 000 of paint and labour. We installed a shower and toilet in each unit and also facilitated the plumbing and hot water installation as well as that of the lights and electrical sockets for the building,” said a beaming Muyoba.

She added that the EEC inititiative had already undertaken a field trip and conducted an assessment of the Covid-19 situation in Arandis, Usakos, Henties Bay and Omaruru.

“We have undertaken a regional assessment on infrastructure and resource requirements. The report was submitted and are now waiting for direction from the relevant authorities.”

Dr Martha Ntinda, the acting senior medial officer for the Walvis Bay district, accepted the facility on behalf of the ministry and promised that staff will take care of it and optimise the facility to the full extent.

Targeted testing

The governor also highlighted aspects of the ongoing Covid-19 contact tracing exercise in the harbour town, saying it was successful in terms of identifying Covid-19 positive persons.

“We introduced a targeted active case exercise aimed at individuals coming into contact with large numbers of people on a daily basis. These are persons such as tellers, cashiers, taxi drivers and health personnel. This targeted testing will enable us to identify hotspots and assist in planning our future interventions with assistance of the private sector. A report will be made available once we complete and study the exercise.”

The governor said that this exercise had sadly resulted in witnessing a sharp increase in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in Walvis Bay.

“This situation requires of us to plan more actively on how and where people are going to be placed for quarantine and isolation. We have already acquired a number of quarantine facilities but still need to arrange for more due to the increase of cases. We are also looking at the availability of other places in the region such as Usakos, Swakopmund, Omaruru and other towns. This also means that we will need more support and assistance.”

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