SA unrest may impact oxygen supply in Namibia: Shangula
Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Kalumbi Shangula said the current unrest in South Africa (SA) may pose a threat to the seamless supply of oxygen to Namibia as the country’s oxygen is currently being procured from South Africa […]
Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Kalumbi Shangula said the current unrest in South Africa (SA) may pose a threat to the seamless supply of oxygen to Namibia as the country’s oxygen is currently being procured from South Africa and brought into Namibia by trucks.
SA has been characterised by unrest and violence with angry protestors looting and burning properties including trucks. About 72 people had reportedly lost their lives as a result of the violence by Wednesday.
Shangula, during the 31st COVID-19 public briefing on Thursday, noted that government has taken a deliberate step to improve the supply and availability of life-saving oxygen to health facilities across the country, following a shortage that arose in June 2021, amid rising cases of COVID-19 infections.
Shangula highlighted that a 20-tonne bulk oxygen tank was installed to provide oxygen to the 74-bed Respiratory Unit at Katutura Hospital, where COVID-19 patients are admitted.
The tank is being filled every week courtesy of donations by the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, while the existing bulk oxygen tanks at Tsumeb and Walvis Bay State hospitals, with the capacity of 6.5 tonnes each, will also be filled as required.
Afrox is installing a 13-tonne bulk oxygen tank at Oshakati State Hospital, while a new gas generating unit with a capacity of producing 370 litres of oxygen per minute, was installed at the Windhoek Central Hospital, supplying the dedicated 15-bed COVID-19 ICU and High Care Unit.
A similar unit was installed at Walvis Bay State Hospital with the support of the private sector last year, while 300 portable oxygen cylinders were delivered in Windhoek, which are being filled at Afrox.
Despite Shangula’s assertions, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, on Thursday assured Namibians that her country will keep its borders open to ensure that the import and export of goods will continue despite the week-long unrest.
Source: Namibia Press Agency