HEALTH officials in Namibia have reported a suspected case of the novel coronavirus behind Covid-19, which was first detected in Wuhan, China.
Executive Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ben Nangombe confirmed the suspected case, adding that the health ministry is currently waiting for test results before more information can be made available.
The news comes amidst reports that neighbouring South Africa has two confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
South Africa’s Health minister Zweli Mkhize today announced that a 39-year-old woman from Gauteng, who was part of the same travel group to Italy as the first case, had tested positive for the virus.
Mkhize further announced that the rest of the group is being tested.
“The second patient who has now tested positive for Covid-19 will now be immediately admitted to a public health facility in Gauteng that government has identified as one of the hospitals that are ready to receive Covid-19 positive patients,” he said.
The first patient in South Africa was a 38-year old man who travelled from Italy, via Dubai, into King Shaka International Airport near Durban.
At a briefing on Friday, held at Cowan House Preparatory School in Hilton, Mkhize confirmed that the man didn’t present any symptoms upon arrival on 1 March.
He, however, went to see his doctor on 3 March after he became sick.
He was taken to Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg, one of the previously-designated facilities for handling the virus, for medical attention on Thursday.
While Namibians wait with bated breath to hear results of the suspected case, health officials are calling for calm.
Country Director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr Eric Dziuban, said that it has been anticipated that the virus would make its way to Southern African countries and that strict measures have already been put in place at airports, land and sea borders, to mitigate and control the spread of the disease.
“We are doing everything we can and we have been working closely with the health ministry,” Dr Dziuban said.
The office of the Prime Minister has also availed N$11 million to the ministry of health and social services to procure equipment needed in the case of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
The first suspected coronavirus case in Namibian earlier this year in Swakopmund tested negative.
Additional information from Business Insider South Africa.