THE New Year started on a sad note after twelve more fatalities ascribed to COVID-19 reported on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
According to the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, two of the fatalities occurred as far back as 22 December but the vast majority of the patients passed away over the past five days. Some of the late reports are the result of the backlog of tests that are currently experienced by the various laboratories involved with testing for COVID-19.
Dr. Shangula announced the passing of nine people on New Year’s Eve. The fatalities are that of a 50-year-old man from Usakos, a 29-year-old man from Windhoek, a two-month-old baby from Walvis Bay, a 35-year-old woman from Okahandja, a 58-year-old man from Otjiwarongo, a 44-year-old man from Opuwo, a 45-year-old man from Katima Mulilo, a 39-year-old woman from Lüderitz, and a 92-year-old man from Swakopmund.
He announced three more deaths on New Year’s Day. The fatalities are that of a 52-year-old woman from Walvis Bay, a 49-year-old woman from Okahandja, and a 61-year-old woman from Keetmanshoop.
The 12 fatalities ascribed to COVD-19 increased the death toll in Namibia to 208.
The health minister announced that 1 212 people have had positive test results over the past two days. On Thursday 608 and Friday 604 new cases were registered countrywide.
The health minister expressed concern about the wide geographical and rapid spread of the new cases. He said that the transmissibility of the virus is increasing as it spreads to the rural areas of the country.
“Clearly the cases are increasing on a daily basis and it requires a coordinated effort from all of us in adhering to prevention measures. Let us continue washing our hands regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub, practice social distancing and constantly wear our masks correctly when going out in public,” he implored.
Dr. Shagula also announced that a total of 1 072 patients (421 on New Year’s Eve and 651 on New Year’s Day) were declared recovered over the past 48 hours. He said the current recovery rate is calculated at 84%.
According to the health minister, there are currently 3 607 active cases of which 1 672 patients are in quarantine under the supervision of healthcare officials.
The number of patients in need of intensive care remained at 36 on New Year’s Day.