A 63-year-old man, identified as the 22nd person to test positive for COVID-19 in Namibia, is currently in a critical condition in a Walvis Bay hospital.
The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbia Shangula, during the information session at the National COVID-19 Communication Centre said the patient was a member of a fishing vessel crew that arrived back in Namibia from the Democratic Republic of Congo on the 5th of May 2020.
“Case Number 22 is known to have underlying medical conditions On 7 May the patient started complaining of shoulder pain to his general practitioner, who motivated to the Erongo Regional Team for his immediate release from the vessel. On the 8th of May the patient was released from the vessel and went straight home to self-quarantine,” Dr. Shangula said.
Dr. Shangula said no sample was taken from the patient at that stage and the rest of the crew remained on board the vessel.
“On 22 May the patient presented to a local private hospital where he was admitted to a general ward. On 24 May he developed difficulty breathing. He was intubated and rushed to the Intensive Care Unit. It was then that a rapid differential diagnosis of COVID-19 was entertained and a rapid antibody test was done which tested positive. He was then put in isolation in the ICU of the same hospital. A specimen was taken for COVID-19 testing. The result came out positive,” the minister said.
Dr. Shangula said the patient is currently in a critical condition and added that the patient was placed on a ventilator from where his condition has not changed since admission into the ICU.
The minister further said that all contacts of the patient at the hospital have been tested and all their results came out negative. All the people that had contact with the patient have been moved to an isolation facility for further monitoring.
“Health officials are in the process of identifying other people with whom the patient had contact outside the hospital,” Dr. Shangula said.
According to Dr. Shangula the vessel sailed from Walvis Bay to the DRC on 25 April to deliver salt and fish products to that country. He said the vessel arrived in the DRC on 30 April and it was reported that the patient did not disembark from the vessel while in port. However, some DRC nationals embarked on the vessel while she was in port and it is believed that transmission of the virus occurred while the vessel was in the DRC.