FEAR gripped the residents of Oshikango after a message that a group of Chinese nationals that were believed to be infected with the deadly Coronavirus, snuck over the border from Angola and were hiding at Dragon City spread among residents of the North.
Residents of the border town observed the Chinese people wearing surgical masks which gave momentum to the growing fear that the deadly virus were carried back to Namibia by the people that travelled to China in
January to attend New Year’s celebrations.
So serious was the state of fear that the Namibian Police, immigration officials as well as medical officers were forced to go to the business complex in Oshikango to investigate the allegations that were spreading like wildfire.
After hastily investigating the situation Ministry of Health and Social Services’ Director for the Ohangwena Region, John Hango, said there is no cause for alarm for now. Hango also stated that the Chinese did not sneak into Namibia over the Angolan border at Oshikango.
During an interview with Informanté, Hango said that the story about Chinese is twisted completely out of proportion and that people are spreading malicious rumours as a result.
“Yes, there are some Chinese people that returned from China recently and they are at Oshikango. They all arrived in Namibia via the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) in Windhoek and are all legally in the country,” he said.
According to Hango, the Chinese nationals were screened at the airport and they were allowed to continue their travels within the borders of Namibia because no infection with the deadly virus was detected.
Hango indicated that speculation started when the returning Chinese passed by their embassy and were told by officials there to quarantine themselves for 14 days. He said that when the returning travellers arrived at Oshikango they kept to themselves and stayed indoors for 14 days as instructed.
“They were visited by immigration officials, members of the Namibian Police and health officials and they were screened again, but still no issues. So, no reason for panic for now,” Hango stated.
Hango, however noted that there is a need to always take precautions. He added that the responsible authorities will keep monitoring the Chinese nationals as a precautionary measure.
Nampols’ spokesperson for the Ohangwena Region, Warrant Officer Kaume Itumba, confirmed that the Chinese nationals at Oshikango entered the country legally and that all their passports has all the necessary arrival and date stamps.
“As a precautionary measure we requested the people at Dragon City to keep limiting their movement for the time being,” said Itumba.
In the meantime a mobile hospital has been set up on the premises of the Hosea Kutako International Airport for the immediate containment and treatment of Coronavirus cases.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
The 2019 novel Coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not previously been identified in humans.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, acute respiratory problems, organ failure and eventually death.
The novel Coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China during December 2019.