THE 30-year-old woman, who was isolated at a Swakopmund hospital along with two nurses, has tested negative for the Coronavirus after she reported to the hospital with some symptoms associated with the virus at the start of the weekend.
This was announced by the Minister of Health, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, who also explained that the patient’s samples were taken and sent for testing to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) laboratory in Johannesburg, South Africa.
– Dr. Shangula will join the Morning Mix Crew live in the Informanté Radio Studio to discuss this incident and other matters related to the Coronavirus that is currently spreading around the world. Tune in for the live broadcast and be sure to interact live with the health minister on this important issue.
The NICD is a World Health Organisation (WHO) accredited laboratory which provides specialised diagnostic and pathological services to countries in the SADC region, with respect to the testing of rare and uncommon diseases.
The woman arrived at the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA) on 27 January after she had been on a flight with people traveling from China who were wearing masks and were coughing.
The patient had travelled to Sydney, Australia and returned to Namibia through the HKIA via Doha in Qatar. She had not complained of fever.
At 18:00 on the same day, she checked herself at the Swakopmund District Hospital’s casualty ward, while coughing, with a runny nose and a headache.
She was received by a medical officer, who decided that the patient should be isolated, as a suspected Coronavirus patient.
“The samples were dispatched on 3 February 2020. I wish to inform the nation that the results from the NICD indicate that the patient is not infected with the novel 2019 novel Coronavirus. I must stress that this person was screened at the HKIA and was cleared. It therefore shows that our screening methods at the airport are effective and can be relied on,” Dr. Shangula said.
He, however, added that the negative results does not mean that Namibia should relax the measures already implemented to detect the Coronavirus.
“It only means that we must strengthen our preparedness to ensure that the Coronavirus does not enter and spread in our country. I also wish to assure the nation that steps have been to taken capacitate the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) to be able to conduct confirmatory tests of suspected novel 2019 Coronavirus cases. Conducting these tests locally will tremendously strengthen our response to be able to treat and manage patients timeously, in case a positive result is identified,” Dr. Shangula said.
The WHO announced that as of 4 February 2020, there were 20,471 confirmed cases and that 425 people had died as a result of the virus.