Namibia: Virus Isolation Unit At Rundu Completed

The Covid-19 isolation facility built at the Rundu Intermediate Hospital, at the cost of N$3 million, has been completed in response to the national battle against the pandemic in Kavango East region.

The first block of the facility was built initially in 2018 to admit high contagious diseases patients such as yellow fever, and an additional block was added in May 2020 to function as a Covid-19 isolation facility. It took the construction company one month to complete the health project.

However, due to the outbreak, both blocks will be used to support efforts to contain the virus. The unit has four ventilators at the moment and the health officials are busy procuring more ventilators.

"There are two facilities, and each facility has four rooms; basically, we can accommodate eight positive patients at one time," explained Dr Joseph Mukerenge, the medical superintendent of the Rundu Intermediate Hospital. Mukerenge said should there be more than eight cases in Rundu and the surrounding areas, the hospital has made provision for another ward that will be used to isolate Covid-19 patients. He said the unit is isolated from the public that might be visiting the hospital. The new facility has a separate entrance for outpatients to ensure positive patients do not come into contact with other patients at the hospital.

Furthermore, the unit also has features to accommodate disabled people in case one of them tests positive for the virus. Each room in the facility has an ablution facility to ensure admitted patients do not come into contact with other patients and possibly be cross-infected.

Rundu intermediate hospital is ready should any Covid-19 case be reported in Kavango East.

"We are ready should something happen; we will do our best and take it as comes. We have put measures in place should something go beyond our control," he said.

He urged the public to refrain from stigmatising those who might be suspected of having contracted coronavirus and those who might have tested positive for Covid-19. Currently, over 24 people are being quarantined in Kavango East region. The health directorate in the region has so far tested over 40 people for coronavirus. No case of the virus has been recorded in the region thus far.

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