FIVE more deaths ascribed to COVID-19 brought the number to 17 that were reported in just three days.
The Minister f Heath and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula announced the deaths of an 88-year-old woman, a 72-year-old man, a 68-year-old woman, and a 66-year-old man that passed away in Windhoek and that of a 55-year-old woman that passed away in Keetmanshoop.
The five latest fatalities ascribed to COVID-19 increased the total number of deaths recorded in Namibia since the start of the pandemic to 213.
The health minister said an increase of positive cases among pensioners, especially in the northern regions of Namibia is a matter of great concern.
In this regard, he once again implored all Namibians to be especially careful when they plan to have contact with vulnerable people such as the elderly in order to protect them.
Dr. Shangula said the public holiday on New Year’s Day created a situation where not all new cases were reported to the health ministry in a timely fashion.
In this regard, he said that only 109 people had positive test results from a specimen batch of 490.
The health minister added that the picture might change dramatically once all the laboratories that work on testing for COVID-19, are working at full capacity again.
Dr. Shangula said the gender distribution of the new cases is 63 men and 46 women of which the youngest patient is a seven-month-old baby and the oldest is a 91-year-old pensioner.
The highest number of new cases was recorded in Oshakati and Outapi. The Oshakati health district recorded 26 new cases, Outpai 23, Opuwo 19 Oshikuku 15, Windhoek seven, Walvis Bay six, Swakopmund five, Tsumeb two while Onandjokwe, Engela, Eenhana, Lüderitz, Otjiwarongo, and Mariental registered one case each over the past 24 hours.
The health minister said 32% of the new cases had contact with confirmed cases and that 72% displayed symptoms of COVID-19 at the time of submitting specimens for testing.
The number of patients in need of hospital treatment for COVID-19 increased to 241 of which those that are in need of critical care in the various Intensive Care Units also increased to 39 since New Year’s Day.
Dr. Shangula also announced the recovery of 204 patients which brought the number of active cases under the management of health officials down to 3 507.