IRRESPONSIBLE utterances with regard to the coronavirus pandemic can cause panic on a grand scale at a time when Namibian health authorities are taking all possible steps to prevent the virus from spreading amongst the population.
The Executive Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ben Nangombe, indicated that people spreading false information and fake news on especially social media platforms will run into trouble and might even be prosecuted.
Nangombe reacted to rumours being spread on social media that one of the people currently under quarantine at a lodge on the outskirts of Windhoek escaped from the facility.
He said that the information is completely false.
“People spreading false information are actually endangering the lives of their fellow countrymen. Health authorities and members of the uniformed forces are doing their best to contain the spread of the virus as far as possible and all of their hard work could be undone if people panic and start to overrun the existing medical facilities,” Nangombe said.
In the meantime, the group of people under quarantine that have started referring to themselves as the Corona 35, have received necessities such as toiletries and some other personal belongings from their families.
The delivery of the supplies occurred under the watchful eyes of police officers guarding the gate to the quarantine facility.
A repair crew contracted by the government also arrived at the hotel in the Brakwater hills to affect repairs at the lodge.
They replaced some water heaters and other infrastructure of the hotel that has fallen into disrepair.
One of the Corona 35 said that the most worrying aspect at their accommodation facility was the workers that do not seem to be informed why the group suddenly arrived there.
Another issue was that the workers after interacting with the quarantined people were allowed to leave the premises to go home.
Nangombe belayed the fears of the Corona 35 and said that a representative visited the group to inform them that the workers, along with the owner of the hotel, are not allowed to leave the premises.
“The workers are normally accommodated on the premises and along with the owner, are supposed to stay at the hotel along with the people under quarantine,” said Nangombe.
On the second day of their quarantine, the families of the Corona 35 delivered clean clothes and other necessities such as toiletries to the gate of the hotel.
The goods were left in the drive way and the people under quarantine had an opportunity to see and communicate with their loved ones over safe distance before taking their belongings back to their rooms.
According to Nangombe, the group is under constant guard of police officials that controls entry and exit of essential personnel like health care workers that have to monitor the Corona 35.
He reiterated that all the people that get into contact with the group members are taking the necessary precautions like wearing protective equipment.
In the meantime, the three people that tested positive for coronavirus are doing well.
Nangombe said that the Romanian couple will be reassessed on 27 March when their two weeks of isolation comes to an end.
He added that the German national is also under close observation and that all of them are doing well under the circumstances.