THE recovery of a record number 1 494 patients who tested positive for COVID-19, thereby decreased the number of active cases in Namibia by more than half.
The cumulative number of positive cases recorded in Namibia since the start of the pandemic currently stand at 3 726 and the cumulative number of recoveries increased to 2 342.
The number of active cases decreased sharply because of the high number of recoveries and at 1 353, the figure constitutes about a third of the cumulative number of positive cases.
Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, the minister of health and social services, announced the huge number of recoveries and said all of them were discharged and allowed to go home.
Of the total number of new recoveries, 1 458 patients are from the Erongo Region, 16 are from the //Karas Region, 13 from the Khomas Region, five from the Ohangwena Region and two from the Zambezi Region.
The health minister also announced that four people passed away as a result of COVID-19.
Dr. Shangula added that the nine year-old-girl who committed suicide earlier this week at the Tutaleni Location of Walvis Bay also tested positive for COVID-19 following post mortem.
He said she was not counted among the deaths, but a test was performed as per the protocol in force in Walvis Bay.
He said three people from Windhoek and one person from Swakopmund were recorded as the latest fatalities in Namibia.
“A 48-year-old man from Windhoek that presented at a local health facility on the 4th of August with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 was tested on the same day and the results proved positive,” he said.
According to Dr. Shangula, the patient, who had multiple co-morbidities, was admitted in a severe condition and died on 13 August.
He said the second person who passed away in Windhoek is an 83-years-old woman who also had a few co-morbidities.
“She was admitted on the 10th of August to a Windhoek hospital after she presented with respiratory symptoms and was tested on the same day. Her clinical condition deteriorated suddenly and she passed away on the 14th of August. The result of her tests also proved positive,” he said.
A 68-year-old woman from Windhoek who had multiple co-morbidities also passed away on 14 August after she presented to a local health care facility on 6 August with a surgical complaint and was admitted.
“She is known to have multiple co-morbidities. She later developed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and was tested on the 11th of August. The results proved positive and her clinical condition deteriorated,” he said.
According to Dr. Shangula, a 45-year-old man from Swakopmund who presented to a local health facility on 6 August with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 passed away on 14 August.
He was admitted to hospital on the same day that he was tested.
The health minister also announced that 182 more people tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV2.
Of that number, 97 are females and 85 are males. The youngest patient is a one-year-old toddler and the oldest patient is an 85-year-old person.
At 91, Windhoek recorded the highest number of cases while 58 new cases were recorded in Walvis Bay, 16 in Swakopmund, five in Gobabis, two in Okahandja, three each in Oshakati and Lüderitz and one each in Okakarara, Otjiwarongo, Rundu and Katima Mulilo.
Dr. Shangula said that an urgent search was launched in Rehoboth for the possible contacts of a 47-year-old woman who resides in the town but who works in Windhoek.
The patient was registered in Windhoek but her contacts are mostly in Rehoboth.
He also indicated that fourteen of the 91 cases registered in Windhoek are health care workers.
According to Dr. Shangula, two of the 16 cases registered in Swakopmund are from Arandis.
“The two cases reported in Okahandja are both from Oropoko where more than 30 people have already tested positive. The two patients are ages 25 and 26 years, respectively, and both are male. They were both tested on the 7th of August because they presented with COVID-19 related symptoms,” he said.
He said the case reported in Okakarara District is that of a 28-year-old man from Okamatapati who had contact with a confirmed case. He was tested on 7 August because he presented with COVID-19 related symptoms.
A 60-year-old man from Otjiwarongo, who had no known contact with a confirmed case, was tested on 7 August because he presented with COVID-19 related symptoms.
With regard to the five cases in Gobabis, Dr. Shangula said that a 37-year-old woman from Epukiro who had no known contact with a confirmed case was tested on 5 August prior to a referral to Windhoek for medical attention.
She did not have COVID-19 related symptoms.
“The second case is a 24-year-old man from Gobabis who had no known contact with a confirmed case. He was tested on the 9th of August because he presented with COVID-19 related symptoms,” he said.
Dr. Shangula said a 53-year-old man, who had contact with a confirmed case in Windhoek, was tested on 10 August.
The patient did have COVID-19 related symptoms, but was placed in quarantine as a precautionary measure.
The fourth case is also person who had contact with a confirmed case in Windhoek.
The 28-year-old woman was also placed in precautionary quarantine and was tested on 10 August. She did have COVID-19 related symptoms at the time of testing.
A 27-year-old man from Gobabis who displayed with COVID-19 related symptoms was tested on 10 August.
The patient did not have contact with a known case.
“The case reported in Katima Mulilo is that of a 20-year-old Zambian national that studies in Namibia. She returned from Zambia on the 2nd of August 2020 ad was tested on the 7th August while in mandatory quarantine,” he said.
A 27-year-old man who travelled from Walvis Bay to Rundu on 1 August tested positive while in precautionary quarantine.
The patient did not have COVID-19 related symptoms at the time of testing.
With regard to the three cases reported in the Oshakati district, Dr. Shangula said that one is a 28-year-old woman with no known contact with a confirmed case.
She was tested on 11 August because she presented with COVID-19 symptoms.
The two other cases from Oshakati are residents of Ongwediva.
A 25-year-old man and 56-year-old woman both had contact with a confirmed case but neither of them had COVID-19 related symptoms at the time of submitting specimens.
The health minister said the three cases reported in the Luderitz district are people who recently travelled to Namibia from South Africa.
He said they were all in mandatory quarantine when the submitted specimens for testing.
Dr. Shangula indicated that four of the active cases in the country are critically ill.
One of the critical patients is in intensive care in Walvis Bay, while three are being cared for in Windhoek. He said 13 patients in Windhoek are in a severe condition and the fourteenth severe patient are in high care in Walvis Bay.
He said that the 12 fatalities ascribed to COVID-19 in the past week underscores the fact that the disease is serious and that it calls for citizens to take it seriously and to act responsibly.
“The major responsibility lies with the public to comply with the measures put in place in order to prevent more deaths,” he said.
Dr. Shangula said the health ministry is disturbed and disappointed by reports that some Namibians are leaving the restricted areas through illegal exit routes to other parts of the country which are not under lockdown.
“The reason for imposing restrictions on the Khomas and Erongo regions is to contain the infection to those regions. Movement of people from the restricted areas has the potential to introduce the infections in those regions that are currently having only a few cases of Covid-19. I should also remind the public that leaving the restricted areas without permission is a punishable offence,” he said.
Dr. Shangula warned that law enforcement agencies are on the lookout and will arrest the offenders.
“I call on the public to report those who are running away from the restricted areas to the Police as some have done so already,” he concluded.