Erongo lockdown not needed

By Maria Kandjungu

THE executive directort in the Ministry of Health and Social Services Ben Nangombe says they do not foresee the imminent closure or lockdown of Erongo region at the moment as the situation at hand does not necessitate it.

Nangombe was responding to questions regarding the ministry’s stance on public calls to put Erongo region on a lockdown following recent reports that one of the truck drivers who tested positive for Covid-19 allegedly wandered into the community from a quarantine facility in Walvis Bay a few days before testing positive.

The driver was supposed to stay in quarantine for 14 days following his return from South Africa where he travelled with work.

Health Minister Kalumbi Shangula last week released the information on Case 21 while giving an update on the Covid-19 pandemic. He said the 47-year-old male truck driver who travelled from South Africa on 8 May had gone into the community from the truck port quarantine facility with another trucker.

“His last trip to South Africa was on 3 May 2020.

He was quarantined at Walvis Bay truck port, then he sneaked out into the community with another truck driver. They were apprehended by the police and put in a supervised quarantine at the Walvis Bay hospital isolation unit. The contact tracing team from the ministry will trace the contacts today, especially in the community where he went,” the minister said over the weekend.

He added that the driver was asymptomatic and remains at the Walvis Bay isolation unit. His is the fifth confirmed positive case from among quarantined groups of people who travelled back from South Africa.

The two drivers have also since been sacked by their employer, FP du Toit Transport, for allegedly contravening the quarantine regulations, although the workers say they had permission from their employer to go and make arrangements at the bank for a payment holiday on the day in question after their wages were slashed in half.

The trucker in question reportedly made stops at Gobabis, Windhoek, Okahandja and Karibib, before arriving in Walvis Bay on 12 May. The authorities are actively trying to trace all persons who may have come into contact with the infected driver.