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Namibia’s COVID death toll still increasing

Namibia’s COVID death toll still increasing

Niël Terblanché


AT a time where record numbers of people are dying as a result of COVID-19 in Namibia concern for people with lifestyle and chronic disease along with elderly pensioners have been shown to be the most vulnerable.


Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, the Minister of Health and Social Services, announced five more fatalities ascribed to COVID-19 in Namibia and said that 99% of the patients that succumb after getting infected has some or other chronic or non-communicable disease.


He announced the death of a 55-year-old man, a 64-year-old woman (both from Grootfontein), a 75-year-old man, an 83-year-old woman (both from Walvis Bay), and a 66-year-old man who passed away in Windhoek.


“It is time that we as a nation pay more attention to non-communicable diseases which underlay these deaths. Let us pay attention to the type of food we eat; the type of drinks we consume and the type of substances we are inhaling. Let us limit the damage to our own bodies, and to our own health,” he said.


The latest fatalities increased the cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths since the advent of the pandemic in Namibia nine months ago to 240.


Dr. Shangula said 363 new cases were registered countrywide from a specimen batch of 1 679. He pointed out that the 22% positivity rate is very high.


He said that 107 new cases were registered in Windhoek, 70 in Swakopmund, 48 in Oshakati, 25 in Lüderitz, 17 in Swakopmund, 14 each in Usakos and Omuthiya, 13 in Karasburg, ten in Outjo, eight each in Otjiwarongo, Rundu and Okahandja, five in Andara, two each in Grootfontein, Tsumeb, Outapi, and Gobabis, one each in Omaruru, Keetmanshoop, Okakarara, Onandjokwe, Okahao, Katima Mulilo, Engela, and Rehoboth.


According to Dr. Shangula, 21 healthcare workers are among the newly registered cases.


He said 44% of new cases had contact with known confirmed cases while 60% of the new cases displayed symptoms of COVID-19 at the time of submitting specimens for testing.


The health minister expressed concern about the sudden increase in new cases recorded at the coast and said that that the trend is the possible result of many holidaymakers that travelled to the main coastal towns for the Festive Season.


He indicated that the number of patients in need of hospitalisation increased to 312 of which 38 are being treated in the various Intensive Care Units.


Dr. Shangula also announced the recovery of 466 patients which decreased the number of active cases to 3 773. The recovery rate increased slightly to 85%.


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