PRESIDENT Hage Geingob has advised the public to wear masks in public areas and encouraged business establishments to insist on the correct wearing of masks as a condition for entry.
The weekly Covid-19 positivity ratio has increased by threefold over the last month going from 2,1% to 7,5% between 11 April and 11 May.
This was announced by President Geingob at the 43rd Covid-19 briefing, where he explained that the rise in Covid-19 infections can be attributed to cluster outbreaks in various primary and secondary schools and hostels and has been predominately observed in Windhoek, Rehoboth, Okahandja and Otjiwarongo.
According to the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Kalumbi Shangula, the number of Covid-19 active cases has increased from 296 to 1 034 since the last Covid-19 briefing and eight deaths were also recorded during that period.
He stated that the number of Covid-19 hospitalisations also increased from 12 per day to 17 during the preceding 26 days.
The minister further stated that the Omicron sub-variant, BA.2, which has been conclusively identified in the country, might be responsible for the sharp increase in the number of infections. He also confirmed that the BA.4 sub-variant has also been identified in the country, while the BA.5 sub-variant is suspected to be in circulation.
Given these developments, Geingob advised Namibians to redouble efforts to fight against Covid-19.
These include increasing social and physical distancing and personal vigilance.
He also urged the public to avoid large crowds, maintain hand hygiene, wear masks correctly and get vaccinated.
“As we enter the winter months, a season of physical vulnerability, I implore all who are eligible to either get vaccinated or receive their booster shot.
“At this stage, all efforts should be taken to bolster our defences against this deadly scourge which has already caused untold damage and heartache since its arrival on our shores,” Geingob said.
According to the President, 11 300 people have been fully vaccinated during the 29-day observance period.
This brings the total number of fully vaccinated people to 411 106, which represents 23% of the target population.
Shangula explained that Covid-19 measures related to gatherings and face masks remain unchanged. However, while mask wearing is not a requirement, Shangula stated that it is strongly recommended.
File photo for illustrative purposes only.