Fishermen quarantined at local hotel
Four months at sea
30 July 2020 | Local News
Johan Kok; General Manager, Swakopmund Plaza Hotel; “There are many other hotels in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay that are doing exactly the same.”
The general manager of Plaza Hotel Swakopmund, Johan Kok, confirmed that crew members of the fishing vessel Venus are been quarantined at the establishment.
The Venus crew had been at sea for three months and recently returned to land.
According to Kok, their quarantine at the hotel was done as a precautionary measure to protect the fishermen from the rising number of Covid-19 infections in Walvis Bay.
“Nobody is at risk. They were not even in contact with people before the first case of Covid-19 was reported in Namibia,” he said.
Kok responded after rumours began circulating on social media when a photo of the group disembarking from a bus parked in front of the hotel surfaced and was widely shared on WhatsApp groups.
A community member from Swakopmund expressed her dissatisfaction at the move to quarantine people in the inner city and in the midst of people.
“Swakopmund Plaza Hotel is now a quarantine facility. What is this and where are the other quarantine and isolation facilities in the town?” the concerned resident argued.
Kok said that the hotel has not been converted into a quarantine facility for Covid-19 positive cases, stating that it is a quarantine facility for negative cases only as required by the ministry of health as a standard procedure.
“There is nothing wrong with allowing crew members to reside here. We are not the only establishment doing this. There are many other hotels in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay that are doing exactly the same. All the rumours on social media of positive Covid-19 cases being housed at the hotel are unfounded.”
Kok said that the crew members must be quarantined and tested.
“They must live somewhere. Because we are an empty hotel with no guests, we are able to accommodate them. We can facilitate for their needs and also provide them with meals, which is exactly what they were looking for,” he said.
According to Kok, an agreement was struck with an agent representing the ship owners.
“The agreement is between the hotel and the agent. It was reached to protect the crewmen and to prevent them from going to Walvis Bay, which is the epicentre of Covid-19 in the country. The crew members will reside at the hotel until their test results are revealed within a fortnight.”