Private sector road-block COVID-19 testing initiative launched
A Private Sector Roadblock COVID-19 Testing Initiative to assist the government in the fight against the pandemic by optimizing COVID-19 testing services for the tourism industry was launched on Monday in Windhoek.
Speaking at the launch the Health Minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said as part of this initiative, COVID-19 swabbing and testing stations will be established at various strategic locations along the country’s national road network to provide services to travelling tourists.
“Although the measures we have put in place have enabled us to avert the worst-case scenario in terms of the initial projections, the COVID -19 situation remains critical. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to increase with confirmed COVID-19 cases now at 50,000,” he said.
Kalumbi said it is pleasing that the private sector has come together to operationalize the initiative.
“The synergies created by the tourism industry and their pathology service counterparts is an indication that effective cooperation can be fostered across industries to achieve a common goal,” he added.
The Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism, Heather Sibungo meanwhile said the setting up of this testing station at the Windhoek-Okahandja Road Block is highly laudable and a progress contribution to government effort.
“This is with no doubt the roadblock with the highest traffic volume and transit point for both nationals and international travelers and therefore very ideal and strategic to serve as a point of service in our current fight of the pandemic,” she added.
According to Sibungu Namibia has recorded a decline of 87% in international tourist arrivals in 2020 and this is such a major shock that translated into a massive loss of over 1000 jobs.
Namibia will host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Regional Conference on Strengthening Brand Africa for the Swift Recovery of the Tourism Sector from 14 to 16 June and around 50 to 100 international delegates are expected.