THE Romanian couple that tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend was in close contact with a total twenty-five people, of which 19 have already tested negative.
This was announced today by health minister, Dr Kalumbi Shangula, who added that all those who came into contact with the foreign couple that arrived in Namibia on Wednesday have been put in isolation for monitoring.
The remaining 6 people who came into contact with the Romanians appear to have already left Namibia.
Shangula further confirmed that no secondary transmissions have been observed.
World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative, Dr Charles Sagoe-Moses, on his part maintained that it would be difficult to trace exactly every person that came in contact with the couple during their travels from Madrid to Doha and eventually the Hosea Kutako International Airport outside Windhoek, but that priority was given to those in Namibia.
“They started from Madrid and transited in Doha before they came here. We are therefore going backwards but at the moment focusing on those who may be in the country. This effort is to ensure that everyone who has contacted is tested. We hear that some went out and are coming back,” he said.
Dr Sagoe-Moses added that they are tracing all persons to ensure that they get tested and monitored to avoid further spread.
So far, he noted, all the tests done have proved negative.
“This is something we take very seriously so we don’t miss anyone. That is the whole idea of containing the situation, by making sure that those who are testing negative are contained,” Dr Sagoe-Moses states.
Response activities and preparedness include measures like the intensification of community mobilisation efforts in mitigating misinformation and panic on social media.
“Messages on COVID-19 will be sent to the public to help them better understand the pandemic. An incident manager for COVID-19 was appointed two weeks ago. She will be responsible for coordinating all aspects of the response, namely selecting relevant government institutions, developing, implementing and evaluating control plan,” Dr Shangula added.
The health minister further reiterated that so far, only two confirmed cases have are reported in Namibia, while a total of 22 suspected cases have all tested negative.
At the same event, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yiming donated 1,000 quick-test kits which detect the coronavirus within 10 minutes.
The kits arrived in Namibia on Monday.
Zhang emphasised China’s efforts in assisting with curbing of coronavirus.
“We are all a global village. We should fight this pandemic hand in hand. This is our noble mission and all responsible countries should do this. China has offered 12 000 test kits throughout the African disease control in Addis Ababa for African countries including Namibia. Our government will offer more concrete support to Africa,” Yiming said.