Presidential servant in self-isolation

By Eliaser Ndeyanale

A police officer employed as a trusted assistant working closely with the First Family at State House has been put into isolation after his wife, a nurse at Lady Pohamba Private Hospital tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.

Presidential spokesperson Dr Alfredo Hengari on Wednesday confirmed that the officer is in self-isolation after tests were conducted on him. “...He is in isolation and tests have been carried out on him. Results are negative. He remains in quarantine for 14 days and his situation is monitored twice a day,” Hengari said.

The affected nurse became the 14th person and first health practitioner to be infected with the novel coronavirus after she cared for patient number 3, a German national who tested positive for Covid-19 in March.

The German national aged 61, arrived in the country on 13 March from Zimbabwe, where he had arrived on 4 March from Amsterdam in the Netherlands. He was initially hospitalised at a Windhoek hospital after showing symptoms of Covid-19 infection, but has reportedly since been discharged and returned to Europe.

A doctor at Windhoek Central Hospital, who had travelled to South Africa recently and started showing symptoms of Covid-19 infection also tested positive and was quarantined, raising questions about the number of health workers, patients and hospital staff that they may have been in contact with.

When Health Minister Kalumbi Shangula confirmed the nurse’s status recently as the 14th case, he said her contact was traced and put in isolation and monitored before specimens were taken from her for testing. The results came back positive. “When case number three came, there was no suspicion and so it took some time before she was tested,” Shangula said.

Lady Pohamba Private Hospital’s general manager Hannelie Botha confirmed that the nurse was indeed infected with the deadly new strain of coronavirus.

“The said nurse came into contact with case number 3 and upon confirmation of the patient’s travel history, the nurse and all other staff on duty immediately isolated the patient and prepared the patient’s transfer to an identified area of isolation.

“All staff on duty that night were tested for Covid-19 and sent home for self-isolation. Whilst all other tests returned negative, sadly one of our nurses tested positive as a result of the contact with the patient. The nurse was immediately quarantined at one of the isolation facilities and attended to accordingly. We are happy to inform you that the said nurse has responded very well to the medical care and is recovering speedily.”

Botha also said that the nurse in question is still in a confirmed case isolation area and will be there for another three weeks until completely cleared by the relevant health authorities.

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