A FINAL flight from the Netherlands to Namibia that was initially suppose to transport a total 114 passengers quickly reduced to 35 passengers after the cabin crew announced the strict measures that would be imposed.
Passengers on the KLM flight that landed at 11:00 at the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) were informed at the Schiphol airport that flight KL575 would only be transporting Namibian nationals and those with Namibian permanent residency.
This resulted in passages leaving the flight as they knew they wouldn’t be allowed past immigration control once in Namibia.
After another announcement was made that those on the flight would immediately be isolated away from their loved ones for a period of 14 days once in Windhoek, more passengers reportedly left the flight, leaving only a total 35 passengers onboard.
The flight was delayed for some time while the baggage of the travellers that opted out of the flight was removed from the cargo holds of the aircraft.
A student who is part of the group said that upon their arrival at HKIA, health officials in scrubs boarded the aircraft and screened the returning passengers, as well as the flight crew.
Their passports were taken away for customs procedures, while their temperatures were checked on the flight and gloves, masks and hand sanitizer given to them.
Members of the group were placed in municipal buses for transport to a lodge situated in the Brakwater Hills on the outskirts of Windhoek.
A member of the Namibian Police again briefed the returning passengers about the mandatory quarantine period because of the state of emergency declared by President Hage Geingob a few days ago.
The group was accompanied by about 20 officials from different branches of the health and uniformed services to help them get settled at the quarantine facilities.
The Executive Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ben Nangombe, confirmed that the group of 35 people will be held at the lodge for two weeks.
Nangombe reiterated that the group of returning Namibians will be kept at the lodge for both their own safety and the safety of the rest of the Namibian population.
He said that certain logistical challenges arose at the lodge but that most of the problems will be addressed as soon as possible.
According to Nangombe, the people will be held in as much comfort as is possible and affordable and that they will be provided with proper sustenance for the entire duration of the quarantine period.
According to the student, the convoy of buses and official vehicles were followed by string of cars filled with family members of the returning group and that they were allowed to speak with their family over a safe distance through the security gate of the quarantine facility.
The returning student also noted that all of the people under quarantine still have access to their mobile phones, with free wi-fi provided at the lodge, as well as food and water.