Congolese Border Jumpers Ebola-Free

The Ministry of Health and Social Services yesterday declared nine Congolese nationals who entered Namibia illegally through undesignated points of entry as being Ebola-free after they were screened.

The unidentified Congolese nationals comprising of men, a woman and children allegedly travelled from the DRC through Zambia by truck whereafter they illegally proceeded and crossed into Katima Mulilo by using dugout canoes.

“We entered Namibia via Zambia at Sesheke and got on a canoe into the Zambezi River which loaded us off at Katima Mulilo on 29 September,” said one them who gave his name as Gabriel Manga.

They then boarded another truck from Katima Mulilo which illegally transported them to Windhoek at the end of September.

Officials only found the group had entered Namibia through undesignated entry points this week when they approached the Ministry of Home Affairs for refugee status to be resettled at the Osire refugee camp.

When New Era arrived at the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration yesterday, a registered nurse, Maureen Hoes, screened the group one by one for any symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus that kills 9 out of its 10 victims.

Fortunately, she said, the group which claims to be a family were declared “free and safe” from the deadly virus after 21 days of quarantine had lapsed.

“They are on the safe side because they have been here for more than 21 days without any symptoms or signs,” Hoes said.

The Commissioner for Refugees in Namibia, Nkrumah Mushelenga, has warned truck drivers to stop trafficking people into Namibia without going through immigration officials who perform screening and detection for Ebola.

“They can be charged if one is found trafficking people into Namibia illegally. These people came in as a result of telephone calls by their relatives who are already housed at Osire informing them about the resettlement to the United States of America, Canada, Finland and Australia,” he said.

Ebola is believed to have killed over 4 000 people in West Africa since its outbreak early this year.

Source : New Era