IN a bid to isolate, as well as treat further possible cases of infection with the coronavirus in Namibia, the Robert Mugabe clinic in Windhoek will be turned into a treatment facility for the new virus.
This was revealed by the Minister of Health, Dr Kalumbi Shangula today, while also announcing that although as of today the country remains with two confirmed coronavirus cases, three more people suspected to have the virus have been isolated as laboratory results are pending.
The three suspected cases include a foreign national from an affected region, a Namibian who recently travelled to an affected region, and a truck driver whose routes include South Africa.
Dr Shangula, addressing members of the diplomatic corps, announced that aside from the isolation unit and treatment facility erected at the country’s Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA), the Robert Mugabe Clinic will be turned into a treatment facility while an additional specialised treatment facility is currently being constructed at the central hospital.
The Minister further stated that currently, Namibia will only ban travel from the currently listed countries; namely Germany, Ethiopia and Qatar and that the country will not go into a complete lockdown at this stage.
On the issue of foreign nationals stuck within the borders of Namibia, Dr Shangula advised that they apply for an extension of visas at the Ministry of Home Affairs and pay a fee of N$580.
In addition to these measures, Air Namibia has also announced that foreign nationals whose flights have been cancelled can either choose to be rerouted or be refunded.
Shangula further stated that the country will not quarantine everybody that comes into the country as measures have been taken to prevent flights from high risk countries entering the country.
He, however, added that screening at the airport will continue and all suspected cases will be isolated.
With regard to fears that the country imports most of its goods from neighbouring South Africa, which has closed 32 of its 72 border entry points, Shangula stated that the current ban on travel does not include goods and services, and those importing goods into the country will also be subjected to rigorous screening procedures at entry points.