THE increase in the number of patients that tested positive for COVID-19 and who all need extra care in hospitals is threatening to overrun available health facilities.
Besides the fact that the number of hospitalised patients is steadily increasing the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula also announced a new record number of positive cases registered in Namibia on Christmas Eve.
He said that that 595 people from all 14 regions in Namibia had positive test results. The results came from a specimen batch of 2 114 which represents an extremely high positivity ratio of 28%.
The Windhoek health district registered 255 new cases while Opuwo had 66, Rehoboth 46, Lüderitz 44, Swakopmund 37, Oshakati 33, Otjiwarongo 27, Karasburg 16, Walvis Bay nine, Onandjokwe and Okahandja eight each, Andara seven, Outapi six, Oshikuku five, Engela four, Khorixas, Grootfontein, Okahao, Tsumeb, and Gobabis three each, Katima Mulilo and Omuthiya two each. The health districts of Nankudu and Usakos registered one new case each.
Dr. Shangula said the gender distribution of the new cases is 316 women and 279 men of which the youngest patient is a five-month-old baby and the oldest is an 89-year-old pensioner.
He said that 89% of the new cases are contacts of confirmed cases and 98% of the new cases presented with COVID-19 symptoms at the time of testing.
The health minister also announced the deaths of a 48-year-old man from Windhoek, an 80-year-old man from Swakopmund, a 47-year-old man from Okahao, and that of a 58-year-old man from Usakos.
The four new fatalities ascribed to COVID-19 caused the death toll in Namibia to rise to 187.
With regard to the hospitalised patients, he said that the number grew to 229 of which 36 were placed in intensive care units of various hospitals for treatment.
On the bright side, Dr. Shangula announced the recovery of 306 patients and said that the recovery rate currently stands at 83%.