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Vaccine expected in Mid-March

Vaccine expected in Mid-March

Zorena Jantze

 

THE death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rise in Namibia, with at least one death recorded in the country every day.

 

Authorities are racing against time to acquire the COVID-19 vaccine, which is currently in high demand worldwide and is expected to arrive in the country in mid-March.

 

Namibia recorded a total 224 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, which represents an 11% positivity rate.

 

Among the confirmed cases are three healthcare workers from various districts, 13 learners and three teachers from different schools, and two students from institutions of higher learning who have tested positive for COVID-19. The total number of active cases currently stands at 1 244, with 153 hospitalised, of which 15 are in intensive care units (ICUs). The country also reported one COVID-19 death from Windhoek, bringing the total number of deaths to 353 since the onset of the pandemic.

 

Dr. Ismael Katjitae, a specialist physician, stated that although announcements were made that the COVID-19 vaccine would arrive in the country at the end of January or February, the vaccine will only be available in the country in mid-march due to the high demand on the global market for the vaccine.

 

He added that close to 7,500 people have been hospitalised in Namibia due to COVID-19, and that immunisation is the only solution to win the battle against the virus.

 

Last week, President Hage Geingob announced that Namibia and Botswana would enter into an agreement to try and procure the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as share the financial cost to acquire the sought after vaccine.

 

The Government of Namibia has approved an upfront payment of N$26.4 million to the COVAX global COVID-19 vaccine distribution scheme co-led by the World Health Organization to ensure that at least 20% of its most vulnerable population is immunised.

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