Repratriating Namibians from coronavirus hit China poses risk
RUSTENBURG - Namibia does not have the isolation capacity to repatriate 500 of its citizens under lockdown in China following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), local media reported.
The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) reported that health and social services minister Kalumbi Shangula told the national assembly there was a big chance of importing the virus into the country should Namibia decide to repatriate its citizens.
He said repatriation was not yet an option for Namibia and that his ministry was assessing the situation daily.
Shangula further said the evacuation process might expose the evacuees and the evacuating teams during the repatriations. He said the exercise would be an irresponsible move that would be blamed on government should the virus finds its way into the country.
The broadcaster reported that according to the initial estimation of the costed coronavirus response plan, an amount of N$50 million was needed.
South Africa was the latest African country to report a confirmed COVID-19 case on Thursday morning. The patient is a 38-year-old KwaZulu-Natal man who travelled to Italy with his wife. They arrived back in South Africa on March 1.
Other African countries with confirmed cases are Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco and Tunisia.
African News Agency