Poor hygiene at isolation facility a concern

Governor promises to address issues

14 July 2020 | Health

Anonymous; Disgruntled patient; “There are three toilets in the block, but only one flushes.”

Henties Bay • [email protected]

A disgruntled Walvis Bay resident who recently tested positive for Covid-19, expressed his dissatisfaction at conditions at the isolation facility in Henties Bay, where he was sent after he had received his test results.

The complainant, who chose to remain anonymous, said that he is not pleased with the level of cleanliness at the Henties Bay Youth Civic Centre, which was turned into an isolation facility for Covid-19 patients.

“There are three toilets in the block, but only one flushes. Only one of the taps from the basins we use to wash hands actually works. There is not even any hand sanitizer available,” he said in a telephonic interview after he initially voiced his grievances by contacting Erongo 24/7’s Facebook page.

He also expressed his dismay at what he termed unacceptable overcrowding at the premises.

“There are far too many people at the facility. We are 51 men staying in one block and the beds are next to each other. I would prefer being quarantined in Walvis Bay close to my relatives so that they can care for me.”

The man, who works as a contract manager for a cleaning company tasked to clean a hospital at the coast, also said that the bathroom at the isolation facility does not have warm water.

“This despite persons in quarantine being told to use warm water to wash their hands to fight the virus. I know a lot about hygiene and how a health facility should look to meet health standards.”

When approached for a comment about the issues, Erongo governor Neville Andre said that quarantined patients have no choice in deciding which isolation or quarantine facility they will be placed in.

In a text message he said that he had not been informed by those in charge of the facility that there were issues pertaining to sanitation.

“The contractor appointed to repair the toilets went to Henties Bay to conduct the needed repairs. Thank you for informing me, it is receiving the necessary attention.”

According to the complainant, the soap dispenser in the bathroom is also constantly empty. He also complained about the absence of paper towels in the dispenser at the bathroom, adding that there are no dustbins in the toilets and bathrooms.

“We decided to divide ourselves into groups to clean the facility because there is no cleaner hired to do so.”

The governor disputed this, saying that there are cleaners that have been hired to clean the premises.

“Due to the nature of Covid-19, the cleaners have to receive training to do their work without being at risk to also contract the virus.”

Another issue raised by the complainant is about being one of five patients who had not received food on his first day at the facility.

“I was not happy when I saw my co-patients eating a fistful of pap and half a vienna for lunch.”

Andre promised that the complaints will be addressed as soon as possible.

“I will speak to my colleagues to find out whether these issues have been raised with them and if they can look into these issues, so that we can deal with it,” he said.

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