AT 21%, the ratio at which specimens submitted for COVID-19 are testing positive is extremely high and is a matter of great concern for Namibia’s health authorities.
The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Klaumbi Shangula announced the latest statistics and said that 396 specimens out of a batch of 1 871 that were analysed by the various testing laboratories, had positive results.
“We are noting with concern the increasing numbers of confirmed cases across the country, particularly in the Erongo, Kunene, and Oshana regions.
Although concern about new cases in the outlying regions is high, Windhoek remains the epicentre with 233 or 59% of the new cases recorded over the past 24 hours.
At 32, Oshakati had the second highest number of new cases. Otjiwarongo registered 27 new cases, Lüderitz 18, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund 15 each, Opuwo 12, Outjo eight, Mariental five, Grootfontein and Gobabis three each, Usakos, Keetmanshoop, Okahandja, and Tsumeb two each, while Omaruru, Khorixas, Rehoboth, Oshikuku, and Engela registered one new case each.
Dr. Shangula said the gender distribution of the new cases is 205 women and 191 men of which the youngest patient is an eight-month-old baby and the oldest is an 81-year-old pensioner.
“With only six days remaining until Christmas, let us all enjoy responsibly as we celebrate the festive days,” Dr. Shangula said.
He added that there is an urgent need for people to protect each other’s health, particularly that of the elderly members of the community and those individuals with pre-existing conditions, who are more vulnerable to mortality and other adverse COVID-19 outcomes.
“Extreme caution is advised when visiting bars, nightclubs, restaurants, church gatherings, the beaches, and any other crowded spaces. Let us maintain a safe distance, wear your mask consistently and clean your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub,” he implored.
Dr. Shangula also announced the recovery of 223 patients.
The number of people that are hospitalised because they have COVID-19 reduced to 153 and the number of patients receiving treatment for COVID-19 in Intensive Care Units also reduced to 27.
The health minister announced the deaths of two more people.
He said a 71-year-old woman from Gobabis and a 25-year-old woman from Windhoek, who both had co-morbidities, passed away while receiving treatment for COVID-19 in the hospital.
According to Dr. Shangula, the older patient from Gobabis passed away on Monday while the young woman from Windhoek passed away on Friday.
The latest fatalities ascribed to COVID-19 caused the cumulative number of deaths to climb to 171.