Windhoek, Aug 24-With the exit of the last crew member on the 17th of August 2020, from the temporary hospital Hangana had erectedshelters for its employees that had tested positive for COVID-19, Herman Theron, Managing Director of Hangana says that they are delighted that the company’s response to COVID-19 had paid off in looking after the health and safety of their employees.
“With Walvis Bay becoming the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic a couple of weeks back, we quickly realised that extra ordinary circumstances called for extraordinary measures. Like many other employers in the Namibian fishing industry, we needed to find ways to protect our employees amidst this pandemic, and therefore responded with various measures.” Theron says that despite the pressure the fishing industry is under, having been heavily impacted by COVID-19 in all aspects, from their ability to catch and process fish, to feeling the pinch of the rapid reduction in market demand, Hangana and other fishing companies in the region did not think twice about activating various plans to care for their employees. As part of the Hangana’s Business Continuity Plan, a fully-furnished isolation care facility was established at Hangana’s warehouse with the aim of having those employees who tested positive, self-isolate in an effort to reduce the risk of transmission to their families and colleagues.
“At the centre of our business is our people whom we deeply care for and therefore, supporting their health and well-being is critical to us and our business. We had to find ways of dealing with the crisis and to continue doing business responsibly, as the livelihoods of our employees and their families depend thereon.”
Celebrating the COVID-19 recoveries at Hangana, Sven Thieme O&L Group Executive Chairman said: “I am truly humbled when I see how much care has been exercised by numerous employers who have gone the extra mile to keep their employees and communities safe. With the economic impact of this pandemic, my appeal is that, in addition to upholding the necessary health and safety measures, we also do everything possible to increase domestic production. As a healthy, productive and self-reliant nation is in a much better position to deal with and overcome crises like COVID-19. We need to breathe life into our industries and our economy in order to secure our future.”
Note to Editor:
Hangana’s warehouse isolation facility was inspected by health officials of the Ministry of Health and received certification as an approved COVID-19 facility for quarantine and isolation. Employees were provided daily with three balanced meals and soft drinks whilst strict safety rules and regulations had to be adhered to in terms of deliveries and pickups. The company’s onsite clinic nurses attended daily to the employees with necessary health checkups and reported on their well-being. Up until now the warehouse had been utilized only for 14 positive crew members who have since recovered and are healthy and fit for work. Panel Houses were also set up at the same time, along the quayside of Hangana, to house and keep safe all negative crew members upon arrival from sea. Houses were kitted out with 16 bunk beds as well as onsite toilet facilities. Employees were attended to by wellness as well as nurses whilst waiting for their next voyage.