THE hope of residents of the Erongo Region will progress to Stage 3 of the State of Emergency like the rest of Namibia is diminishing fast after two of the five new cases of COVID-19 registered in Namibia over the past 24 hours are from towns along the central coast.
Walvis Bay was put under hard lockdown on 29 May and the rest of the Erongo Region followed a little more than a week later. The continuous hard lockdown of the region is the subject of an urgent meeting of the security and health cluster currently underway in Walvis Bay. The resolutions that will eventually be reached at the cluster meeting will determine the way forward for the region and an announcement in this regard by the Namibian Government is eagerly awaited.
This morning at the National COVID-19 Communication Centre, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, announced three new cases of COVID-19. He said the three new cases brought the total number of confirmed cases in the country since March to 39.
Case number 37 is a 20-year-old man that normally resides in Walvis Bay but is currently under supervised isolation in Mariental where he tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV2.
According to Dr. Shangula case number 37 travelled from Walvis Bay to Mariental on the 2nd of June to attend school. He was swabbed on Monday after he went to the hospital with a runny nose, a headache and the loss of taste and smell which he told medical personnel started on the 31st of May while he was still in Walvis Bay. He was placed in isolation while awaiting test results and will now go into supervised isolation in Mariental because he tested positive.
The case is registered under the Hardap Region and according to Dr. Shangula, the young man is in a satisfactory condition.
Case number 38 is a 22-year-old student who returned to Namibia from England on the 4th of June. She has been in a quarantine facility in Windhoek since.
According to Dr. Shangula, she was initially swabbed on the 5th of June and the results of the test proved negative.
“As per the testing protocol, she was again swabbed on the 16th of June and the result proved positive,” Dr. Shangula said.
According to the health minister, the young woman indicated that she experienced COVID-19 like symptoms which was similar to flu and accompanied by a loss of smell while she was still in England during March. He said she was never tested for infection while still overseas.
“The patient is asymptomatic and will have to remain in isolation for the full cycle of 14 days. The case is registered under the Khomas Region,” he said.
The minister said the third new case, registered as case number 39, is a 55-year-old woman from Swakopmund who was swabbed at home as part of an active case search in the community. Health officials found her with fever and general body pain.
“The patent has no recent travel history and no known contact with any other confirmed cases. She was swabbed on the 16th of June and the results proved positive on the 18th of June. The case was registered under the Erongo Region,” Dr. Shangula said.
The health minister indicated that the patient was admitted to the Swakopmund Cottage Hospital on the 17th of June because she experiencing a fever of unknown origin.
“She is in a satisfactory condition and will remain in hospital and will be managed according to the existing protocols,” he said.
Dr. Shangula said that of the 39 cases registered in Namibia since March 19 have recovered. This leaves the country with 20 active cases and 109 active contacts.
He indicated that the Namibia Institute of Pathology and PathCare performed a total of 6 355 tests. Three of the 247 tests performed on Wednesday had positive results.
Namibia currently has 685 people in quarantine facilities and has not reported a COVID-19 related death since the start of the pandemic.
On Wednesday evening the health minister announced that a 26-year-old man from Walvis Bay tested positive for COVID-19 while a 44-year-old Malawian national who travelled to Namibia during the first week of June tested positive for infection at Katima Mulilo.