THE Rhino Garment Factory situated next to Ramatex in Windhoek will be converted into a 500 bed facility which will be used to treat and isolate COVID-19 positive patients.
The centre will be used for the care of those who are severely sick, as well as those in stable condition.
This was revealed by Dr. Bernard Haufiku, leader of the task force committee appointment to fight COVID-19 in the country.
Dr. Haufiku stated that currently, the Robert Mugabe clinic is dealing well with treating of those diagnosed with COVID-19 and that there is no overcrowding as 3 of the 16 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in the country have recovered and were discharged.
He, however, added that more facilities are needed in all 14 regions and focus should not only be placed In the Khomas Region.
Touching on the challenges the country is facing in the fight against COVID-19, Dr. Haufiku said the main challenge is the issue of social distancing.
“We are pleading with people to maintain a safe distance. People are not adhering to social distancing, especially in regions which are not on lockdown. The police and communities are clashing because people do not want to follow the regulation,” he said.
He added that shopping centres have especially become hot zones for mass public gatherings and supermarkets should involve security as well as the police to force people to adhere to social distancing.
“We hear of crowded shopping centres. We are currently advising supermarket owners to ensure that people keep a safe distance when shopping. Even people who work in shops are not adhering to these regulations,” Haufiku said.
With regard to the N$1.1 billion diverted to the Ministry of Health and Social Services by government, as well as an additional N$36 million donated by the private sector, Dr. Haufiku explained that the money for health is difficult to quantify and declare sufficient, but that those funds will go a long way to strengthen the health system during this critical time.
He added that the other challenge is the fact that trucks which were listed as essential services are being turned away from borders and roadblocks.
Dr. Haufiku stated that the responsible ministry has to strengthen communication with this sector.
On the country’s preparedness for ventilators, testing equipment and protective wear needed by hospitals, Dr. Haufiku stated that government has ordered more ventilators and more are in the process of being bought for both the public and private health care facilities.
He stated that government has ordered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) according to the worst case scenario and that health care workers will be adequately protected.
On increasing testing in the country, Dr. Haufiku stated that for now the country will not do rapid testing as there is a consensus that there is no overcrowding and that the turn-over time from the two local laboratories is ample.