Stop, collaborate and listen

26 March 2020 | Health

Special Advisor to the Vice President on health matters, Dr Bernard Haufiku, has called on Namibians to adhere to measures put in place in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
During a media conference, Haufiku said there is a need to enhance the communication on COVID-19 to avoid miscommunication that leads to chaotic situations and uninformed actions.
Namibia has thus far reported seven confirmed COVID-19 cases of which three are Namibians; a 21-old male student who returned from South Africa; a 19-year-old-man who arrived in the country on 18 March 2020 from London and a 41-year-old male pilot.
“We need a command centre where information is given out in a concise manner. We only have this window period which keeps narrowing because our operation base is not up to scratch,” said Haufiku.
In reference to the 66 Namibians who arrived on Wednesday at the Hosea Kutako International Airport and waited for eight hours to be informed they need to be quarantined, he said this was purely due to lack of communication between stakeholders and the ministry of health and social services.
“The directive of the ministry says those coming in Namibia should be quarantined, however we were not informed in advance that there are two planes landing and should prepare all that is needed for quarantine,” Haufiku said.
He stressed that Namibia should not repeat the same mistakes like in the fight of Hepatitis E, noting that to curb the spreading of COVID-19 there is a need for communication, collaboration and coordination both by stakeholders and the community at large.
“If we do things accordingly Namibia can be an exemplar to other African countries, with measures put in place.”
Haufiku said the country has only 88 ventilators, a required treatment for COVID-19, hence there is a need for the public to understand why measures are shifted to prevention. “If things do not change as expected, the whole country will go on lockdown,” he noted. – Nampa

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