Unverified information creates confusion
26 May 2020 | Health
The news that a truck driver tested positive for Covid-19 in Walvis Bay over the weekend, triggered a flood of false information being circulated at the coast.
The driver and a colleague breached quarantine rules and regulations by visiting a bank and also taking a jog. The duo, who are both cross-border truck drivers who visit Zambia and South Africa, have since been fired by FP du Toit Transport, the company they worked for.
Immediately after the news broke of the positive case, a message started doing the rounds on social media that Walvis Bay will be placed on complete lockdown, allegedly for a period of three weeks.
A photo is also being circulated of an unknown man who is said to be the truck driver in question.
Erongo governor Neville Andre refuted claims that the harbour town will be placed under complete lockdown.
"This is not true and remains a rumour for now. We will discuss the issue later today."
Walvis Bay urban constituency councillor and chairperson of the disaster risk management committee Knowledge Ipinge concurred with Andre and said that both social media posts in question contain false information and should be treated as such.
Ipinge said he sent letters to Standard Bank and FP du Toit Transport asking for their closure to protect public health. He also requested that the two companies provide him with their Covid-19 business continuity plans. In addition, we also need footage of visitors to the bank, as well as lists of employees and members of the public who visited the premises since 11 May.
“The ministry of health and social services should take charge of this situation. People’s lives are at stake and the ministry needs to dictate what measures need to be put in place.”
The head of community affairs for the Erongo region Inspector Illeni Shapumba, urged people to desist from creating and circulating unconfirmed information.
“The public should rather wait for information from relevant state officials before disseminating unverified information.”