Namibia: Erongo Law Enforcement Has No Protective Gear

LAW enforcement and health officials in the Erongo region are still without protective gear against the coronavirus.

Since the start of the lockdown, the government is yet to dispatch protective gear for the men and women at the forefront of fighting the virus.

To date, the four district hospitals in the region are yet to receive supplies with which to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The chief principal health officer in Erongo, Dr Amir Shakir, confirmed this during a press conference at the navy base at Walvis Bay yesterday.

"Up to now we have not received supplies. We have some in hospitals to test the people because while we have to test the people, we have to have protective gear. Unfortunately, we cannot provide police officers because we don't have enough. We are waiting for more supplies to come from Windhoek," said Dr Shakir.

For now, officers from the navy, air force, army, police and correctional services are expected to enforce the lockdown measures in their normal uniforms until such a time that protective gear is delivered.

Last week, Walvis Bay businessman Vincent Fernandes, the owner of Baleia Do Mar industrial safety supplies, donated masks, overalls, cover suits and examination gloves to the Walvis Bay Urban constituency Disaster Risk Management Committee. The items will be for law enforcement officers, the Walvis Bay District hospital and the Walvis Bay municipality.

Probed about the preparedness of Erongo region, governor Cleophas Mutjavikua insisted that the region was prepared to deal with the pandemic even though those at the forefront of the pandemic are yet to receive protective gear.

"The region received the necessary protective clothes from the MoHSS head office which is inclusive of full kits of personal protective equipment (PPEs) to protect the staff who have direct contact with the suspected and confirmed patients, to be used when the patient needs to be admitted or where a sample needs to be collected," said Mutjavikua. He added that gloves, googles, face shields, aprons, masks, gumboots that health workers use during consultations with suspected cases have been dispatched.

The governor added that thermometer guns to screen passengers at the port entry had also been delivered.

"We've also received other essential equipment to be used in the isolation wards - drip stands, blood pressure machines.

Erongo region has functional response and preparedness committees at each level with sub-committees that are addressing the Covid-19 preparedness and response," he said. Mutjavikua confirmed that there are more than 200 staff members of different categories that were trained in Covid-19 throughout the region

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