Staff Writer

Given the risk of the spread of COVID-19, Namdeb has now introduced its own COVID-19 testing capacity in Oranjemund.

The company said the development is part of a comprehensive response plan to safeguard the health and safety of its employees and to support the local community.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, and a long-term partner of the Namibian government, Namdeb is committed to support the efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Namdeb has also been instrumental in availing and setting up isolation units in Oranjemund and Lüderitz, as well as procuring essential medical equipment such as ventilators, new beds and testing equipment.”

In addition to stringent precautionary measures, Namdeb’s COVID-19 response plan also requires wide-spread testing of its employees and affected community members, the company established its own fully-fledged testing facility in the town of Oranjemund.

“With COVID-19 tests only administered through accredited laboratories, the company established its own fully-fledged testing facility in the town of Oranjemund which was approved on the 10th July 2020 following rigorous assessment by a team of experts from both MOHSS and NIP. The laboratory facility was completed in record time and passed its validation test which was conducted by a reputable external service provider.”

“Whilst this facility is very important to ensure we manage the COVID-19 risk in our business, we are also honoured to be able to assist our community and the country at large in alleviating some of the pressure to conduct testing. This laboratory will play a vital role in the diagnostic testing process of COVID-19,” Namdeb CEO, Riaan Burger said.

Namdeb COO, Dr. Jurgen Jacob said the establishment of the facility is timeous, given current surge of the COVID-19 cases within the country and the limited testing capacity.

“Moving swiftly to acquire all the medical equipment at a time when the world is facing shortages has been challenging but certainly a necessity with most of the equipment having multiple usages beyond COVID-19,” he said.

Along with other precautionary measures, the Namdeb Hospital has put in place a policy framework that would serve as terms of reference in providing guidance to the hospital staff and Oranjemund community in dealing with suspected COVID-19 cases.

All tests conducted will be reported to the relevant authorities in line with established protocols and will form part of the national statistics on COVID-19.