Differentiated approach against Covid-19 employed

Governor’s update

12 July 2020 | Health

Swakopmund

Officials in the Erongo region have started to use a differentiated approach against the Covid-19 pandemic through the identification of target areas and hotspots.

“In the hotspots the focus continues to be on prevention of new infections, containment, mitigation and recovery. The overarching objective is to strengthen the regional mechanism for timely detection, management and containment of the spread of Covid-19,” Erongo governor Neville Andre said on Friday.

The governor said that the regional response to combatting Covid-19 consists of ten overarching strategic priorities or pillars, namely the provision of leadership and co-ordination, logistics, mental health and psychosocial support, surveillance, quarantine and isolation facilities, case management, risk communication & community engagement, points of entry (PoE), the Security cluster and infection prevention and control.

“The Covid-19 operational centre is functional and is located at the municipality of Walvis Bay with all major stakeholders involved. I have also invited private doctors and the fishing sector to form part of the Emergency Operation Center. Their input and support will enable us to achieve our objectives.”

Modalities discussed

Andre also met with private doctors in the region earlier in the week.

“They have extended their support and help during the pandemic. The meeting also resolved that the ministry of health should sit with private doctors to work out modalities for their respective engagements during Covid-19.”

He also conducted a follow-up meeting with the Hake and Horse Mackerel Sectors.

“The sector again re-iterated their support to combatting the virus. They are however faced with uncertainties on the allocation of new quotas. They also had a problem with foreign crew on their vessels and quarantine protocols, as they would want most of their crew to be quarantined on the vessels, which is safer and more cost effective.”

The Regional Health Directorate was subsequently tasked to look at a settlement for the issues of the operators. The governor said that he was happy the issue was finally resolved and thanked Anna Jonas and Dr. Amir for their prompt response on the issue.

“I was informed that the ministry granted permission for the crew to be quarantined on the vessel, subject to the established protocols. These include that an officer from the security cluster be stationed on the vessel, that a qualified medical practitioner be on board of the vessel to check the daily temperatures and apply other necessary medical duties and that no one should be on the vessel when a crew change happens.“

Andre said that it was no longer a matter of announcing numbers of confirmed Covid-19 cases.

“We have now reached the surge. The storm that we have consistently warned Erongo residents about has arrived. We are now at a point where it’s our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, close friends and comrades that are infected. We are now in this reality where we must live with knowing that some of us cannot even bury our loved ones or attend their weddings, because of the restrictions or even because we ourselves have been exposed to the pandemic.”

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