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High demand for tests cause testing backlog

High demand for tests cause testing backlog

Niël Terblanché


THE number of COVID-19 patients that have been admitted to the intensive care units of various hospitals in Namibia has increased significantly.


Of the 202 patients currently receiving treatment for the illness caused by SARS-CoV2, 34 are currently receiving critical care in hospitals in the Khomas and Erongo regions.


The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula also announced that 330 new cases and one COVID-19 fatality were registered in Namibia over the past 24 hours.


He said the positive results were derived from a specimen batch of 1 436 which represents a concerning positivity rate of 23%.


“We would like to inform the public that, of late the laboratories are experiencing a backlog of tests due to increased demand for testing. Consequently, the results turn-round time has correspondingly increased. We ask the public to bear with us as the team is working hard to ensure the results are released on time,” he said.


With regard to the new cases he said that 228 people from Windhoek had positive test results while 22 new cases were registered in Lüderitz, 15 in Oshakati, 11 in Tsumeb, seven each in Usakos and Omaruru, six each in Otjiwarongo and Mariental, five in Karasburg, four in Walvis Bay, three each in Keetmanshoop, Okahandja, and Khorixas, two each in Swakopmund, Aranos, Goababis, and Katima Mulilo, and one each in Grootfontein and Rehoboth.


Dr. Shangula said the gender distribution of the newly reported cases is 185 women and 145 men of which the youngest patient is a one-year-old toddler and the oldest is an 88-year-old pensioner.


“Of the total new cases 47% are contacts of confirmed cases and 64% presented with COVID-19 symptoms at the time of testing,” he said.


The health minister said that he will continue urging all citizens to adhere to the COVID-19 prevention measures during the Festive Season.


“We will continue to sing this song until there is evidence of total compliance. Clean and sanitize hands regularly, avoid public gatherings, maintain a safe distance, and wear your mask properly at all times when in public places,” he urged.


Dr. Shangula announced the death of a 52-year-old man from the Katima Mulilo health district with multiple co-morbidities who passed away while admitted to hospital on Monday.


The death toll ascribed to COVID-19 in Namibia now stands at 181.


According to Dr. Shangula, 276 patients from across Namibia were declared recovered.


The large number of new cases registered since the beginning of December, caused the number of active cases to increase to 3 128 which means that the gap between recovered cases and the cumulative number of confirmed cases is widening significantly.

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