The Namibia Nurses Union says the majority of their members are either in isolation or quarantine after contracting Covid-19 or coming into contact with an infected person.
Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said last week that five nurses had tested positive of Covid-19 at the Windhoek Central Hospital alone.
The union’s acting secretary Junius Shilunga told Eagle FM Thursday that although there are no figures yet, the union was aware of the dire situation.
According to Shilunga, some departments at the hospital have been shut down after nurses and other health workers had come into contact with Covid-19 cases.
In a statement dated 29 July 2020, Shilunga said the union is deeply concerned by the reckless sending of nursing students whom he said were being sent out without any personal protective equipment.
Shilunga mentions Unam, Welwitschia Health Training Centre, International University of Management, and I-care Health as those that sent out students without protection.
“As a result, this has affected the work input of our nurses negatively and has potential effects to derail the progress in the fight against this deadly Covid-19,” he said.
The bigger ramifications, Shilunga said, is that the hospitals which are already struggling to provide nurses with adequate and proper protective equipment.
“Our organisational findings are that nurses on the frontline are not pleased and crying for PPEs which can suffice their operations as they are sometimes being forced to re-use one surgical mask for two or more weeks.
“Additionally, students are also at high risk of contracting the virus due to lack of PPEs and the lack of social distancing practice in the hospitals,” he said.