by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

SOME of the journalists who have undergone Covid-19 testing described the process as uncomfortable but important.

TESTED … Samples are taken from journalist Shelleygan Petersen to be tested for Covid-19. Photo: MICT

Samples were taken from journalists who took part in testing after the health ministry announced its plan to test 200 000 people.

The targeted testing initiative aims to test people with respiratory issues, people who congregate in groups, and journalists who are exposed. Tests were conducted at the Robert Mugabe Clinic and was done to rule out community transmission.

Namibia has had no new infections, and confirmed Covid-19 cases remain at 16, with 10 active cases.

Speaking to The Namibian, freelance journalist Tiri Masawi said the process was “challenging”.

“Extracting the sample from the nostrils and the throat wasn’t the most comfortable process, but it was an important decision to take,” he said.

He said the testing facilities were in mint condition and healthcare workers were comforting.

“They would take time to explain the whole process from start to end. The hygiene met my expectations. Kudos to the health ministry for the good effort in keeping high standards,” Masawi said.

Shelleygan Petersen, another journalist, corroborated Masawi’s sentiments, saying the process is uncomfortable but necessary.

She said the test helps one understand the reality of those who have already been tested – especially those with a positive result.

She said: “The experience was sort of refreshing in the sense that you are not only calling for mass testing for the community, but you have experienced it yourself and you know what people are experiencing. The test itself was a bit unpleasant.”

She said the service was professional despite the long wait.

“When you get there, the nurses would tell you exactly what to do and you are not left alone at any point. A nurse would take your details and screen you by taking your temperature, blood pressure and pulse and by asking you questions about experiencing symptoms,” Petersen said.

She said the process is lengthy because everyone at the clinic had to be tested at the same time.

“Two doctors attend to you in full personal protective equipment and apologised for the wait, because everyone has to be tested at the same time. They take you through every step to ease your mind. They were really helpful, really calm and explained everything. They practise good hygiene and expected us to constantly sanitise our hands,” she said.

TESTED … Samples are taken from Ronney Hangula from the ministry of information to be tested for Covid-19. Photo: MICT

Ronney Hangula from the information ministry was also tested yesterday and said he was impressed with the cleanliness of the facility and the health workers’ professionalism. He said the testing process was uncomfortable – especially the nasal sample.

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