THE extension of the lockdown period to early next month is the result of, amongst others, fears that the deadly coronavirus is silently spreading amongst unsuspecting communities after patients who tested positive breached self isolation requirements.
Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said today at State House that one of the doctors who tested positive violated the incubation period regulations by continuing to work while awaiting his results.
Case 9, the doctor, was diagnosed on 25 March – 2 days before lockdown.
He had 7 secondary contacts outside his family, who were all discharged from quarantine without extended laboratory testing.
A small and practical risk of the virus spreading is there, Dr Kalumbi said.
Case 15, another positive case, breached the self-isolation regulations by going out in the community when his diagnosis was already confirmed when he took a taxi to the Robert Mugabe clinic seeking medical treatment and isolation admission at the facility last week Tuesday.
Potential several contacts could be out there, undetected and unidentified, the minister admitted.
Dr Shangula also noted that the 85 travellers who arrived at the Hosea Kutako International Airport from Johannesburg on 26 March travelled from various parts of the world.
The minister said the group was not sent into quarantine and as such, went on to complete their travels around the country.
There is potential risk that some individuals might have been infected, Dr Kalumbi said, adding that it might translate into leading community transmissions.
Another 33 travellers from coronavirus affected countries also arrived via Walvis Bay on 26 March and were allowed to go home without being quarantined.
The group, Dr Shangula said, poses the same risk and danger.
“The current lockdown in the Khomas and Erongo regions has not been efficient. There has been a breach of intervention with implications for potential community spread within the regions with confirmed cases, with a risk of further spread in the entire country,” Dr Shangula maintained.
The outbreak, he said, has not been suppressed as initially intended.
The need for a lockdown extension to 4 May 2020 is thus imperative, to ensure that people remain wherever they are to contain and reduce further spread.
The incubation period of those infected would have lapsed come 5 May.