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Namibia is on a slippery COVID slope again

Namibia is on a slippery COVID slope again

Niël Terblanché

 

THE number of new COVID-19 cases registered in Namibia spiked sharply to more than 300 in a single day for the first time in months.

 

Besides the large number of new cases, the number of fatalities ascribed to COVID-19 also increased with five since Wednesday.

 

The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula announced that 301 new cases have been identified out of a test batch of 2012 samples analysed by the various laboratories. He said that it represents an infection rate of 15% which is much higher than what it had been for the past three months.

 

The gender distribution of the new cases is 152 women and 149 men of which the youngest patient is a five-month-old baby and the oldest is an 83-year-old pensioner.

 

He said that among the 301 positive cases, 207 of the patients are from the Windhoek district which is almost double the number reported on Wednesday.

 

“This represents 69% of the total number of confirmed cases and is just 15 cases less than the highest number of 316 cases, we reported on 23 August 2020, before we started with the downward trend. This is a clear indication of a resurgence of cases which means that Namibians must redouble their efforts to immediately curb the spread of further transmission,” he said.

 

Dr. Shangula said it is very concerning that the Windhoek district continues reporting the highest numbers of newly confirmed cases in the country.

 

“As we edge closer to the Christmas holidays which will be characterized by heavy traffic in and out the capital city to the rest of the country, we urge all citizens to observe COVID-19 prevention measures to curb further spread of the virus especially to the regions currently recording low numbers of new infections. We re-emphasize the need for all members of the public to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 by practising social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub, staying at home if they feel unwell, and seeking medical care early if having a fever, cough and difficulty breathing,” he said.

 

The health minister reminded Namibians that public gatherings of more than 200 people are strictly prohibited, and urged everybody to avoid crowded places and close contact with anyone that has a fever or cough.

 

While Windhoek registered 207 new cases, Oshakati registered 17, Walvis Bay 15, Swakopmund 13, Lüderitz 12, Otjiwarongo nine, Tsumeb five, Omaruru four, Keetmanshoop and Karasburg three each, Opuwo and Outapi two each, while Usakos, Okakarara, Khorixas, Andara, Rundu, and Gobabis registered one new case each.

 

Dr. Shangula also announced the COVID -19 related deaths of three people.

 

He said an 87-year-old woman and 36-year-old man from Windhoek as well as a 73-year-old man from Oshakati are the three latest fatalities ascribed to COVID-19.

 

The three latest fatalities along with two more announced on Wednesday increased the COVID-19 death toll to 158.

 

The large number of new cases announced since the start of the week caused the number of active cases that are the management of health care officials to 1 394 which is the highest it has been in more than two months.

 

Since the start of the pandemic in Namibia in March 2020 health authorities have confirmed 15 773 cases of COVID-19.

 

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