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29 South African truck drivers placed under quarantine in Namibia

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TWENTY-NINE South African truck drivers were quarantined at various facilities in Windhoek yesterday 28 March 2020, reports The Namibian. They were part of 60 drivers who drove from South Africa through Botswana.

Health executive director Ben Nangombe confirmed on Saturday evening that all truck drivers who crossed the borders into Namibia today are under quarantine for 14 days.

He said the drivers have been placed under quarantine at various facilities around Windhoek.

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Only those who have to return immediately will be released and are expected to sleep in their trucks tonight.

He said in total, there were more than 60 truck drivers screened enroute to Windhoek this afternoon at the Rehoboth, Okahandja and Gobabis roadblocks.

The trucks were carrying essential supplies, including food and medicine.

Government announced earlier this week that only those providing essential services will be allowed to operate during the 21-day lockdown period to curb the spread of Covid-19.

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“Truck drivers from within Namibia were allowed to proceed. Only those from outside the borders (of Namibia) are quarantined,” said Nangombe. However, all goods were safely delivered.

Dozens of trucks waited at the Windhoek roadblocks for hours this morning as they underwent the screening process.

Nangombe said this was part of the Namibian Police’s exercise to ensure that the lockdown regulations were being adhered to.

Leader of the Covid-19 task force, Dr Bernard Haufiku, said there was miscommunication between those on the ground with regards to trucks transporting goods from South Africa, which contributed to the congestion at the roadblocks this morning.

“I would like to assure the public that this problem (congestion) has been solved and the trucks were allowed to transport goods,” said Haufiku.
Namibian Police regional commander for Khomas region, Joseph Shikongo, said a lot of people were still coming at the both roadblocks from Okahandja and Rehoboth, unaware of what the lockdown means.

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“Some of them even have plans to go to places like Gobabis and such,” said Shikongo.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula also confirmed the quarantine of the truck drivers this evening.

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