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COVID cases spike to new record

COVID cases spike to new record

Niël Terblanché


AN urgent call for people to adhere to prevention measures came after Namibia registered a record number of new COVID-19 cases.


Along with the sharp spike, where 434 new cases were recorded, came the news that five people died as a result of being infected by SARS-CoV2 since Monday.


The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula announced the shocking new statistics and said that the situation calls for a complete mind shift in the way Namibians approach COVID-19.


TESTING LINES: Scores of people are lining up in Windhoek to get tested for COVID-19 as many intend to travel beyond the country’s borders for the Festive Season. – Footage: Scharlarco Visagie


“Unfortunately, we still do not see a corresponding level of commitment towards control of the pandemic from the public. We will continue urging all citizens to adhere to the COVID-19 prevention measures. What else do we need to see in order to convince ourselves of the need to comply? We thank those responsible citizens who recognise the gravity of the situation and are complying with the preventive measures in place and call on everybody to follow this example,” he said.


He also expressed concern about the positivity ratio that shot up to 21% after the 434 new cases came from a sample batch of only 2 043 analysed by laboratories.


Dr. Shangula said the newly registered cases represent a 31% increase from the cases reported on Thursday.


The health minister said the gender distribution of the reported cases is 231 women and 203 men, of which the youngest patient is a three-day-old newborn and the oldest is a 93-year-old pensioner.


The Windhoek health district registered 271 new cases, while Swakopmund registered 25, Okahandja 23, Lüderitz 20, Oshakati 19, Walvis Bay and Tsumeb 12 each, Onandjokwe ten, Otjiwarongo and Okahao seven each, Rehoboth five, Oshikuku and Katima Mulilo four each, Khorixas and Usakos three each, Omuthiya and Engela two each, Karasburg, Outapi, Mariental, Outjo, and Rundu one each.


Dr. Shangula indicated that 12 of the 14 regions recorded new cases and added that 39 people amongst the new cases are healthcare workers.


He said that 57% of the new cases are contacts of cases that already tested positive and that 26% of new cases presented for testing with COVID-19 symptoms.


The health minister said that 185 people are currently hospitalised and that 30 patients from that number are being cared for in Intensive Care Units of various hospitals countrywide.


According to Dr. Shangula, a 70-year-old man, a 49-year-old man, and a 42-year-old man from Oshakati, an 82-year-old woman from Khorixas, and a 69-year-old man from Omuthiya died as a result of being infected with SARS-CoV2 since Monday.


The five fatalities ascribed to COVID-19 pushed the death toll in Namibia up to 169.


Dr. Shangula also announced the recovery of 253 patients, which means that 2 243 people are currently under the management of health authorities, while their COVID-19 status remains active.


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