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Concern over sharp COVID spike in Erongo

Concern over sharp COVID spike in Erongo

Niël Terblanché


AN average of seven people died per day over the past seven days as a result of COVID-19 in Namibia.


While the number of fatalities ascribed to COVID-19 has risen with 49 since last Sunday and as thousands of people are travelling back home after the holidays the average number of new cases might also increase significantly.


The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula announced the deaths of three more people.


He said a 75-year-old man from Lüderitz, a 78-year-old man, and a 53-year-old woman, both from Windhoek passed away.


The latest fatalities brought the cumulative number of deaths registered in Namibia since the start of the pandemic to a total of 254.


The health Minister expressed concern because the number of cases in the Erongo Region outnumbered the number of cases in the Khomas Region for the first time in months.


He said that 536 people countrywide had positive results. The results come from a test batch of 2 724 specimens that were subjected to analysis by the various laboratories. The gender distribution of the new cases is 296 women and 240 men of which the youngest patient is a one-month-old baby and the oldest is a 100-year-old pensioner.


According to Dr. Shangula, the Windhoek health district registered 104 new cases, Walvis Bay registered 62 new cases, Oshakati 44, Rehoboth 33, Rundu 29, Swakopmund 27, Katima Mulilo 26, Keetmanshoop 16, Onandjokwe 15, Mariental 12, Tsumeb, Lüderitz, Oshikuku, and Eenhana 11 each, Omuthiya and Gobabis ten each, Otjiwarongo, Grootfontein, and Engela nine each, Okahandja and Tsandi seven each, Outjo five, Omaruru and Karasburg four each, Okahao three, Okongo two, and Outapi one new case.


“The current emergence of cases in the Erongo Region and the rest of the country indicate an active community transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus following the end of the festive season. This critical situation requires urgent cooperation of the public and a combined effort to curb further spread of the virus in communities,” he said.


He stated that another serious concern is the high number of new cases registered in health districts in rural areas.


“This is very worrisome as the cases are widespread and sporadically distributed in different districts across the country,” he said.


He said the number of patients in need of hospitalization and those in need of critical care decreased slightly. Currently, 303 patients are hospitalized while 33 of that number are being treated in the various Intensive Care Units of hospitals in the Khomas, Erongo, and Oshikoto regions.


Dr. Shangula also announced the recovery of 380 patients which means that the number of active cases increased to 3 708.


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