Namibia: Air Namibia Repatriates Body From UK for Free

The grief-stricken family of 43-year-old Bryan Hembapu, who died in the United Kingdom in March, have thanked Air Namibia for repatriating his remains for free.

Due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hembapu's body has been stuck in the UK for almost three months. Air Namibia repatriated the body yesterday along with more Namibian nationals that were stuck abroad.

Kephas Hembapu, who is a close cousin to the late, expressed gratitude to Air Namibia. "I am indeed very grateful that finally our son of the soil is back home. At last, he will go home to the spirit of our ancestors. He was a very caring person and full of energy, I know very well that he will be missed a lot by his wife, friends, and the entire mighty Hembapu family," Hembapu noted.

Hembapu, who was based in Wigan for years with his family and children, was visiting friends for a meal when he apparently choked and was declared dead in a local hospital. Hembapu lived in Otjizerandu in the Ovitoto area of the Omatako constituency with both his parents before he left for the UK. He will be laid to rest this weekend. Air Namibia spokesperson Twaku Kayofa confirmed the repatriation of the body along with a combined number of 127 Namibian nationals from Frankfurt and London. The aircraft arrived yesterday morning at 07h30. Kayofa said Air Namibia has obtained a licence to operate worldwide, enabling the airline to fly to countries it ordinarily did not previously fly to. He explained that Air Namibia has operated various repatriation flights and will continue to do so, based on demand and viability. According to him, Air Namibia received more requests that are currently being reviewed with important stakeholders, such as the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation.

Upon arrival, the passengers and crew members undergo a 14-day quarantine under the supervision of the ministry of health.

Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said they are all to be tested for Covid-19. "They will be tested upon arrival. If anyone tests positive, they will be taken to an isolation management facility. For those who will test negative, they will be quarantined for 14 days and before they are discharged, they must test negative again," he explained. -

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