Truck isolation facility opens
05 May 2020 | Infrastructure
Neville Andre; Erongo governor; “It is only when we come together that we will be able to face and defeat this enemy ...”
An isolation facility strictly catering for incoming truckers was officially opened on Tuesday.
The facility is located in the new industrial area near Narraville and serves as a screening point for cross-border truck drivers transporting essential goods between Walvis Bay and other SADC countries.
Incoming truck drivers will undergo a mandatory seven-day quarantine at the facility, where a mobile clinic is available for Covid-19 screening and HIV testing provided by the Walvis Bay Corridor Group, as well as toilets and showers. Meals will also be provided on site by two local SMEs.
The isolation facility will be operational for a period of 27 days and the truckers will be sleeping in their trucks. If a driver shows any symptoms of coronavirus, the case will be referred to the ministry of health for testing. Each driver confined at the facility will be screened daily and records will be kept of the driver’s travel history and health.
Namport acting CEO Kavin Harry said that with the absence of a formal truck parking facility in Walvis Bay, it poses a serious risk for the spread of Covid-19 in the event of drivers coming from high risk areas interacting with local communities before they are adequately screened and certified as Covid-19 free.
“With this facility, it is our expectation that all truck drivers coming in from across our borders will be given an opportunity to undergo screening, testing and quarantine before they proceed to interact with local communities,” he said.
“We really appreciate BIP Container Terminal who availed the land for the isolation facility, the shipping lines who have given us temporary use of the containers to cordon off the facility, the municipality of Walvis Bay for the ablution and water arrangements, transport companies who all volunteered to bring the containers from the port at their cost, law enforcement agents for security, and the ministries of health and finance who were lenient with the duties to be paid for the containers.”
He said that Namport is standing surety for the safe keeping and return of the containers to the owners and has also provided private security to see to it that the containers remain safe until they are returned to the port.
The Erongo region’s governor Neville Andre said that to continue with cross-border logistics supply chain activities, stricter guidelines have been put in place to ensure the continued flow of trade.
“All cross-border trucks will be required to use the newly constructed road behind Dune 7 and can no longer utilize the B2 road between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. A quarantine period of 7 days will become mandatory for cross border trucks which will be served at the isolation facility.”
“The facility will provide screening and monitoring procedures by the Walvis Bay Corridor Group health personnel and ensure health-related issues are attended to. This facility will be managed by the BIP Container Terminal and there will be security on the premises 24 hours.”
He thanked all stakeholders who pooled their resources to ensure the facility is up and running. “It is only when we come together that we will be able to face and defeat this enemy called Covid-19. I am impressed by the swift actions of the transport and logistics fraternity as well as regional stakeholders to provide innovative solutions. We will continue to monitor the requirements throughout.”