THE Namibian Nation is bearing an increasingly heavy burden of a steadily rising death toll ascribed to COVID-19.
The Minister of Health and Social Services Dr. Kalumbi Shangula announced the COVID-19 related deaths of 14 more people on Wednesday.
According to the health minister, three people died in the health district of Windhoek, five in Keetmanshoop, two in Otjiwarongo, and one fatality each occurred in Okakarara, Onandjokewe, Outapi, and Karasburg. He added that ten of the deceased persons were not vaccinated, that the vaccination status of three is unknown, and that one fatality’s vaccination status was unconfirmed.
The 14 new deaths increased the cumulative number of deaths that have occurred in Namibia over the past 15 months to 950.
Dr. Shangula again urged the relatives of people who died to collect their bodies for burial. In his address to the National Assembly, Dr. Shangula said that some bodies have been lying in the freezing racks of mortuaries across Namibia for more than five years already.
“As part of proper mortuary management, the Ministry will institute extraordinary measures to make space for the increasing number of bodies,” he said.
Dr. Shangula did not elaborate on what the extraordinary measures might be.
The health minister also announced that 515 more people had positive test results from a specimen batch of 2 068. The numbers constitute a positivity rate of 25%.
At 362 cases, the Khomas Region had 71% of the new cases. The Omahaeke region recorded 55 new cases while the Karas Region had 34, the Erongo Region 35, the Hardap Region eleven, the Zambezi Region seven, and the Ohangwena Region had two new cases.
The number of active cases under the management of health officials rose to 6 599. Of that number, 345 are admitted to hospitals. The number of patients in need of critical care in intensive care units rose to 77.
The number of people that were declared healthy has remained relatively low compared to the soaring number of new cases since the start of the third wave last week. Only 123 recoveries were reported on Wednesday.
Dr. Shangula said that 80 193 people in Namibia have taken the first shot of the available vaccines. He added that only 12 868 were fully vaccinated.
“This is an extraordinary time that demands extraordinary action,” he said before adding that the current situation will leave the health ministry with no other choice but to take additional action with regard to restrictive measures to curb the high infection rate.