by Hileni Nembwaya

Scores of people have been travelling out of the Erongo region to areas such as the far north of the country, after restrictions on parts of the region were lifted.

File photo.

This has raised fears of a possible transmission of the coronavirus to these areas, as the Erongo region has become the hotspot of the disease.

Walvis Bay has recently become the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic, prompting the suspension of issuing of travel permits to people travelling from the region, to combat the spread of the virus.

Oshana health director, Johanna Haimene told The Namibian the region faces a challenge of placing the high number of people travelling from Erongo region under quarantine as the directorate does not have the capacity to do so as well as conduct mass testing.

“We are faced with a big challenge of people travelling from Erongo region to the north. Every day we are receiving calls from concerned family members asking that we place their relatives who travelled from towns in Erongo region under quarantine but we do not have facilities to keep them all under quarantine.

“We have some who we have placed under quarantine even though it is not allowed, we are just doing everything possible to contain the virus. We also do not know why the police in Erongo are issuing all these many people with travel permits when the number of cases there is escalating on a daily basis. It is worrying and many people in the region are now panicking,” said Haimene.

There are about 27 people under quarantine in Oshana region and many of them are said to be truck drivers and a few people who recently came from towns in Erongo region.

Haimene urged the inhabitants of Oshana region to remain calm as the health directorate is on the ground monitoring the situation.

So far no case of Covid-19 infection has been reported in the region.

“People should continue to adhere to the precautionary measures put in place by the authorities and maintain social distancing. If anyone suspects they have symptoms related to Covid-19, they should rush to the nearest hospital or clinic and get tested for the virus.

“At the moment we are not conducting mass testing, we are only testing those placed under quarantine or patients showing symptoms of Covid-19. The virus is real and people should take care of themselves and avoid large gatherings,” she said.

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