THE third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and possibly infections with a variety of new strains has become a tangible and dreadful reality when more than a thousand new cases were recorded over a period of 24 hours in Namibia for the first time since the start of the scourge 15 months ago.
Namibia’s Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula announced that 1 045 people from a specimen batch of 3 178 had positive COVID-19 test results and said that the current situation demands urgent action.
“The COVID-19 monitoring team is currently reviewing the epidemiological situation with a view to mount an appropriate response where the cooperation of everybody will be needed,” he said.
The health minister said the infection ratio has risen to 33% and that the Khomas Region alone accounted for 59%3 of the extremely high number of new cases.
The Khomas Region registered 619 new cases, the Erongo Region had 117, the Karas Region 62, the Otjozondjupa Region 60, the Hardap Region 42, the Kavango East Region 37, the Oshana Region 29, the Omaheke Region 24, the Oshikoto Region 16, the Kunene Region 12, the Omusatit Region nine, the Zambezi Region two and the Kavango West Region only reported one new confirmed case.
Dr. Shangula said that 374 people were declared recovered over the past 24 hours.
“We now have 7 252 active cases, 369 patients that are hospitalized, of which 71 are receiving critical care in intensive care units,” he said.
The health minister also announced 18 COVID-19 fatalities and said that five people passed away in each of the Windhoek and Mariental health districts, three in Rehoboth, two at Engela, and one each in the health districts of Oshakati, Omuthiya, and Grootfontein.
One of the persons that passed away has received the first dose of the vaccination, two were confirmed not to have been vaccinated while the vaccination status of the remaining 13 fatalities is unknown.
The high number of deaths ascribed to COVID-19 increased the cumulative number of deaths recorded over the past 15 months to 968.
Dr. Shangula also announced that 82 845 people have received the first dose of the vaccine and that a total of 13 588 were administered with the second dose.