Rose-Mary Haufiku

State House has rushed to contain any more infections that could emerge after President Hage Geingob and first lady Monica Geingos tested positive for COVID-19.

Press Secretary Alfredo Hengari told the Windhoek Observer that COVID-19 health protocols had been activated, with the President’s close proximity staff and their families being tested for the virus, while State House would be fumigated.

“The necessary COVID-19 health protocols have been activated to ensure the speedy recovery of the President and the First Lady, including the protection of the entire entourage of the First Couple. Moreover, family and staff members who work in close proximity with the President are currently taking COVID-19 tests, following which the Office will be fumigated. The President and the First Lady are both in good spirits and in good health,” Hengari said, adding that “I will also have to self-isolate.”

Hengari further revealed that the President, who is isolating in Windhoek, will miss the next Cabinet meeting due to the latest development. “The forthcoming Cabinet is deliberative and will be chaired by the Prime Minister. The President is due to chair Cabinet on 8 June 2021,” he said.

If there will be any disruption to Cabinet, and its operations and if any of the 21 ministers that attended Wednesday’s meeting were at risk, Secretary to Cabinet, George Simataa said, “It’s not the first time that the President has been absent from Cabinet and can operate without the President. The ministers seat about two metres apart in compliance with COVID-19 protocols, while the President is at the high table, which is a distance from the Cabinet ministers, so there is no chance of any infection taking place.”

Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security, Albert Kawana, who was in attendance in the Cabinet meeting chaired by Geingob, said, “in Cabinet, the President sits very far from me, but I’m going to get tested tomorrow.”

Swapo Spokesperson, Hilma Nicanor, refused to comment on what action the party was taking after Geingob attended the ruling party’s Sunday Central Committee Meeting, where 42 members were in attendance.

“I have no comment, please contact the Ministry of Information or the Ministry of Health,” she said.

Geingob’s positive COVID-19 result, comes after he previously went into self-isolation at the beginning of May as a precautionary measure after travelling.