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Namibians must prevent a second COVID wave

Namibians must prevent a second COVID wave

Niël Terblanché

NAMIBIANS must avoid history repeating itself and take a lesson from the 1918 Spanish Flu to prevent a second wave of new COVID-19 cases surging over the country.


The end of the State of Emergency and the fact the number of new COVID-19 cases registered daily has decreased significantly does not mean the pandemic is over in Namibia.


Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, the Minister of Health and Social Services, while announcing the latest COVID-19 statistics said that the most severe pandemic in history was the Spanish Flu of 1918.


“It lasted for two years, in three waves that infected 500 million people and resulted in 50 million deaths,” he said.


FREEDOM IS NEVER FREE: People from all over Namibia threw caution to the wind celebrated the end of the State of Emergency with their friends and acquaintances at bars across the country. Their newfound freedom might come at a high price if a possible second wave of new COVID-19 infections would force the reintroduction of the State of Emergency with all its draconian restrictive measures. – Footage: Contributed


According to Dr. Shangula, most of the deaths recorded at the start of the previous century occurred during the second wave. He said that even in those times people were restricted to have social contact and that once measures were lifted, the people rejoiced in the streets with abandon.


“In the weeks that followed, the second wave occurred which left tens of millions of people around the world dead. Let us not repeat the history in the time of COVID-19. Relaxation is only given by the Government. Corona hasn’t given any relaxation,” he warned.


He said that the health ministry has already put in place the new legal instruments that allow for the continuation of public health measures to prevent the further spread of infection and also to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the individuals, families, and communities.


Dr. Shangula announced that 262 people recovered from COVID-19. He said that 87 people from the Oshana Region, 65 from Erongo, 58 from Khomas, 32 from Hardap, 19 from Ohangwena and, one from the Omusati Region all received a clean bill of health.


The high number of recoveries forced the number of active cases to decrease even further to the point where it now represents only slightly more than 20% of the cumulative total of confirmed cases.


According to Dr. Shangula, 129 people tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV2 and that Windhoek once again registered the majority of new cases.


He said that 67 people from the capital, 15 from Mariental, 12 from Rehoboth, sic each from Okahandja and Oshakati, five from Walvis Bay, three from Keetmanshoop, two each from Swakopmund, Omaruru, Tsumeb, Omuthiya, Gobabis, and Katima Mulilo, and one each from Grootfontein, Otjiwarongo, and Lüderitz had positive COVID-19 test results.


“We have now surpassed the ten thousand mark after six months of the pandemic in Namibia. The cumulative total of confirmed cases now stands at 10 207. The number of confirmed new cases continues to decrease daily across all the regions although there are slight fluctuations and variations on the number of cases reported from different regions,” he said.


No new fatalities ascribed to Covid-19 were reported which means that the death toll in Namibia remained at 108 for a second consecutive day.


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