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New spike in COVID-19 death rate is alarming

New spike in COVID-19 death rate is alarming

Niël Terblanché

THE increase in the number of people that are dying at home or being declared dead on their arrival at health facilities has set off alarm bells with health authorities in Namibia.

Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, the Minister of Health and Social Services while announcing the latest COVID-19 statistics, said that most of the home deaths or DOA’s occurred in one particular health district which constitutes cause for alarm.

The health minister announced the deaths of 63 people and said that 14 occurred in the health district of Rehoboth, 13 in the health district of Oshakati, eight in the health district of Engela, seven in the health district of Outapi, three each in the health districts of Tsandi, Windhoek, and Swakopmund, two each in the health districts of Rundu, Tsumeb, Otjiwarongo, and Okakarara, and one each in the health districts of Outjo, Mariental, Katima Mulilo, and Nyangana.

Among the 63 new fatalities ascribed to COVID-19 announced by the health minister were 18 people that passed away at their homes. Another seven people were declared dead on arrival at health facilities.

The latest COVID-19 statistics at a glance. Brought to you by OnawaMed.

He said that all 13 fatalities recorded in Oshakati were registered as home deaths while six out of the seven DOA’s were registered in Rehoboth.

“We urge the public to play their part by visiting their nearest health facilities when feeling sick to receive the necessary treatment in time and reduce avoidable deaths,” he said.

The 63 new fatalities caused the cumulative number registered in Namibia since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to increase to 2 620.

Despite the sudden spike in deaths, the number of people that received positive test results decreased to 467. The test results were derived from a specimen batch of 1 944 which denotes a much-reduced positivity ratio of 24%.

He said that 125 people from the Khomas Region, 96 from the Otjozondjupa Region, 51 from the Kunene Region, 44 from the Omusati Region, 36 from the Zambezi Region, 28 from the Karas Region, 26 from the Oshikoto Region, 19 from the Erongo Region, 14 from the Ohangwena Region, 11 from the Omaheke Region, nine from the Kavango East Region, and eight from the Hardap Region received positive test results.

Another encouraging aspect of the statistics provided by the health minister is the fact the 1 189 people were declared recovered from COVID-19.

“We now have 21 075 active cases. Of that number 565 are currently hospitalised, of which 115 are receiving critical care in the various intensive care units across Namibia,” he said.

According to Dr. Shangula, the number of people that received the first shot of the available antigens increased to 138 521 while the number of fully vaccinated people rose to 37 516.

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