Gold mine digs deep
Fight far from over
23 September 2020 | Health
Neville Andre; Erongo governor; “This is a real show of community spirit.”
The QKR Namibia Navachab Gold Mine inaugurated a N$2 million Covid-19 quarantine facility at Karibib.
The Klippenberg Covid-19 facility, which consists of four prefabricated container units, can accommodate Covid positive persons who are not in a position to self-isolate.
The 4-bed facility was constructed to reduce the burden on the ministry of health and social services (MoHSS) and encourages staff at the mine to be tested for the virus without fear in a bid to identify positive cases and to reduce the spread of the virus.
The facility will also be made available to members of the broader community should the need arise, space permitting.
Access to and from the facility, which also has an onsite laundry, is controlled by a security officer.
Erongo governor Neville Andre thanked the mine for its tangible contribution to the fight against the pandemic in a speech presented on his behalf by the chief regional officer of the Erongo Regional Council, Ludmilla Habate Doeses.
“This is yet another indication of the willingness of the private sector to meet government halfway in mitigating some of the effects of the pandemic. I am heartened by the gesture and impressed by the fact that the facility will be made available to members of the broader community. This is a real show of community spirit.”
Andre warned that the lifting of the State of Emergency by the president last week does not imply that Namibia has won the fight against Covid-19.
“It does not mean the pandemic is no more. It merely means that as individuals, we must take up more responsibility for our own safety and protection.”
Stamp of approval
Speaking on the same occasion, managing director of QKR Navachab Gold Mine George Botshiwe, said the mine is honoured to play a small part in local and regional endeavours aimed at flattening the curve of Covid-19 infections and fighting the pandemic.
He added that there was enough available space on the 28ha area the facility is located on, to expand should the need arise.
“It has been inspected, given the MoHSS’s seal of approval and is registered as a quarantine facility. The ministry retains the right to time inspect the facility as well as monitor the health of any of the patients referred to the facility at any time.”
Botshiwe added that the health and safety of mine staff that had recorded 15 positive Covid-19 cases to date, was a priority.
“Eight of those 15 have since recovered, with seven active cases remaining. We have not lost anyone due to the virus and none of the patients were seriously ill. The mine tested 100 staff members and screened 200 employees. We have the capacity and kits to take swabs at the mine and send it to a lab for testing.”
Karibib mayor Titus Nabod expressed the hope that the facility will contribute to the high recovery rate in Namibia as a whole and the Karibib constituency in particular.
Nabod said that all Namibians will face the critical question of how to live with the virus and adapt to the new normal in the coming months.
“Measures implemented by government have been successful in slowing down the spread of the virus. But it will not completely stop. Most people remain vulnerable and the virus still has a lot of room to move. We will need even greater stores of resilience, patience, humility and generosity in the months ahead. We have already lost so much, but we cannot lose hope.”