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Protest at NYS Quarantine Centre resolved

Protest at NYS Quarantine Centre resolved

Niël Terblanché

SOLEMN promises Namibian health authorities that the process of obtaining COVID-19 test results of people in quarantine will be stepped up significantly has brought the protest at the National Youth Service Centre in Henties Bay under control.


A week ago people that were identified as active contacts by the Ministry of Health and Social Services threatened to leave the facility because they feared that they might get infected by people classified as active COVID-19 cases.


Some of the protesters claimed that they had been waiting for more than three weeks for the results of the COVID-19 tests. They also complained about the quality of the food and the ablution facilities at the NYS centre.


PATIENTS PROTESTING: Last week patents in quarantine at the NYS Centre in Walvis Bay protested against the fact that they had been waiting for more than three weeks their COVID-19 test results. – Footage: Compiled by Samuel N Shinedima.


At the time a contingent of military and police had to cordon of the area to keep the protesters from leaving the camp.


The situation was brought under control when the Erongo Regional Health Director, Anna Jonas travelled to the camp to intervene.


During the recent visit of the high-level government delegation at the centre the co-chairperson of Namibia’s national COVID-19 case management team, Dr. Kaveto Sikuvi, gave the assurance that the health ministry has taken steps to speed up testing and to avail results more rapidly.


Dr. Sikuvi said that the health ministry and the laboratories that are tasked with testing COVID-19 specimens have been overrun and that a backlog was created.


He indicated that the health ministry in the meantime called on the assistance of private laboratories which means that results will be available.


Dr. Sikuvi also indicated that the Ministry of Health and Social Services is in the process of acquiring more machinery and equipment to speed up testing.


On Monday Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, the Minister of Health and Social Services announced that Namibia recorded a record number of recoveries. Out of the 26 people that consecutive negative after being placed in quarantine 24 are from Walvis Bay and one is from Swakopmund.


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