A SEAMAN with no known contact with any confirmed COVID-19 cases or with any recent travel history, has become the third person in the Erongo Region to tested positive for infection with the SARS-CoV2 in the past two days.
The sudden spike in positive cases in the Erongo Region, that has been placed under hard lockdown since 8 June, does not bode well for the hope that the strict preventative measures of Stage 1 of the State of Emergency will be lifted soon.
According to Proclamation 21 as published in the Government Gazette, the Erongo Region is supposed to progress to Stage 3 of the State of Emergency at midnight on Monday, 22 June.
With regards to the latest case, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, the Minister of Health and Social Services, during the information session at the National COVID-19 Communication Centre in Windhoek announced that the seaman underwent required testing before boarding a fishing vessel on 17 June.
“The test results came back positive on the 18th of June and the seaman was placed in supervised isolation. This brought the number of cases that tested positive for COVID-19 in Namibia since March to 40. The patient did not present with signs or symptoms of COVID-19,” the minister said.
According to Dr. Shangula, the patient had no contact with any known cases and did not travel out of the Erongo Region since 6 May. The seaman last went out to sea during January this year.
The health minister said case number 22, the 63-year-old sailor that has been placed on a ventilator while in an induced coma, is making good progress.
“He has since been weaned off the ventilator and is breathing spontaneously. His condition has improved to such an extent that the Ministry will no longer update the public on his progress,” Dr. Shangula said.
In giving the latest statistics, the health minister said that 162 tests were performed by the Namibia Institute of Pathology and PathCare, which brought the total number of tests to 6 514.
The number of active contacts currently being monitored by health officials rose to 148, while the total number of people in quarantine increased to 736.
“Namibia still has no COVID-19 related deaths and is currently managing 21 active cases,” Dr. Shangula said.