Namibian truck driver tests negative after another test

THE Namibian truck driver who initially tested positive for Covid-19 in Zambia has now tested negative after a follow-up test and a period of isolation in that country. This was confirmed by health minister Kalumbi Shangula, who also said only one Namibian truck driver is confirmed to have tested positive for Covid-19 in Zambia and not two as stated earlier by that country's authorities. Speaking at the Covid-19 communication centre this morning in Windhoek, Shangula added that the results of the truck driver in question have since come back negative on Saturday morning after his first diagnosis.

The Zambian health ministry on Thursday announced that the Namibian truck driver had tested positive in that country. "At this point, I wish to state that the Ministry of Health and Social Services, through the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, has received information about what was initially believed and reported to be two Namibian nationals who have tested positive for Covid-19 in Zambia. "However, following further investigations, it was established that only one of the drivers was Namibian.

The other driver mentioned in the correspondence from the Namibian High Commission in Lusaka, has been confirmed to be a citizen of Zimbabwe," he said. The minister said the information available shows that the Namibian driver entered Zambia from Namibia via the Katima Mulilo border post on 19 April 2020 and was placed in quarantine by the Zambian authorities. "He, together with other drivers, was tested for Covid-19 and the test (initially) came out negative.

He was given a release document and travelled to Kasumbalesa (in Zambia). On arrival at Kasumbalesa, he was summoned back to Masaiti (also in Zambia) to be retested. He went back to Masaiti and was swabbed.

The test came out positive and he was placed in isolation," he said. The driver subsequently tested two more times and now these last tests have come out negative. "The results for the last test were received this morning (Saturday).

The driver was released by Zambian authorities to go back to his truck at Kasumbalesa and continue his journey," Shangula added. Shangula did not clarify how the driver was released by the Zambian authorities after spending less than 14 days in quarantine. The Namibian government maintains that the case remains the responsibility of Zambia as the driver had tested negative while in Namibia.

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