Covid-19 ward gets N$4.5m oxygen generator

By Confidente Reporter

A much-needed new oxygen generator plant was delivered to health authorities at Walvis Bay District Hospital last Wednesday. The handover took place at the site where the Covid-19 isolation unit is under construction in the coastal town. Rössing Uranium managing director Johan Coetzee said at the handover that CNUC Rössing Uranium fully supports government’s efforts to contain Covid-19.

“The oxygen generator plant delivered today, manufactured in Windhoek, is purchased by CNUC Rössing Uranium at a cost of around N$4.5 million, and will be made available to supply oxygen to about 75 to 80 of the 150 beds in the new isolation facility. When the isolation facility has served its purpose, the oxygen plant can be removed to be donated to a state hospital of our choice in the Erongo region.”

He said “severe steps” have to be taken to combat the spread of Covid19. “We have seen the unsympathetic destruction this disease is causing all over the world, and presently, while it appears to be stagnant for just over a week, it is believed it might slowly creep up and infiltrate Namibia.”

Coetzee said proper, timely planning can save lives “and I want to express my gratitude to the government of Namibia, at central, regional and local level working together with the business community, for putting measures in place to save the lives of our people. I wish to especially recognize the Corona Care Campaign, which is a fund launched by the Welwitschia Hospital.

“When the prospect came to us to consider making available an oxygen plant for the new coronavirus isolation facility at Walvis Bay, CNUC Rössing Uranium grabbed the opportunity to contribute, with the full support of our majority shareholder, China National Uranium Corporation Limited and the Rössing board of directors.

“As you may know, CNUC acquired the majority shareholding in Rössing Uranium in July 2019, and has since given significant support to our operational needs to secure the future of the mine, and making worthy contributions in the livelihoods of the communities in which we operate.

“Many of our 1 000 permanent employees and about 1 000 contractor employees and their families are part of the coastal community, and as a responsible mining operation it is our duty to support government and private sector initiatives, especially when it comes to the health, safety and wellbeing of our coastal community.”

The new Covid-19 isolation facility will serve residents of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Henties Bay and Arandis. The governor of the region, Neville Andre said: “I am particularly proud as a Baainaar to preside over this historic momentous occasion, especially in my new capacity as governor of the Erongo Region, because this is happening in my own town.”

He noted that since the announcement of the state of emergency, Namibia has recorded 16 Covid-19 cases. “As a small country we cannot take this very lightly, and hence I am very happy on the role played by the Ministry of Health and Social Services and the Erongo Regional Council in the establishment of the Disaster Risk Management Committees, both on a regional and constituency level.

“The tasks of these committees, is to bring together different stakeholders to plan and effectively mitigate this pandemic... The private sector has over the past few weeks contributed generously and in kind, from food rations, to sanitizers and much needed amenities, such as lodging for quarantined patients, including financial contributions.

“Today’s contribution to the [fight against the] Covid19 pandemic, speaks to the most important part and that is medical equipment. Such equipment is very important to enhance the lives of patients with the coronavirus, it is a life saving device and all other advantages it comes with...

“I therefore want to applaud our private sector stakeholders, Rössing Uranium Limited, the Welwitchia Hospital and Namdock, as well as African Gas Solutions for this exceptional support. [It] will go a long way in ensuring our readiness and preparedness to save the lives of our people… We still have a long way to go in terms of preparedness and overall readiness to fight this pandemic.

Andre said: “This is not a time for political grandstanding, this is not a time for playing hero, this is a time for all Namibians, public and private sector to hold hands and fight this pandemic… Cooperation and following the set rules of the different committees should be our driving force to collectively emerge victorious in our fight against this pandemic. Together we can make it.”

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