More than 3 500 Covid-19 deaths recorded in Namibia

• By Tracy Tafirenyika

NAMIBIA has so far recorded a total number of 3 578 Covid-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. Currently the country has 3 392 active cases.

Statistics provided by the Ministry of Health show that as of Monday, Namibia had recorded a total of 133 444 confirmed cases and a total of 126 148 recoveries were reported, translating into a recovery rate of 94.5 percent.

This information was announced this week during the 38th Covid-19 public briefing by President Hage Geingob and health minister, Dr Kalumbi Shangula.

“It is a source of great concern that the epidemiological trajectory has worsened as the country has recorded more positive Covid cases from 29 November 2021. In the past two weeks, the number of positive cases has been doubling on a daily basis. It reached the highest number of cases of 1 041 recorded on 10 December 2021. From 16 November to 12 December 2021, the period of 27 days covering the current dispensations, a total of 47 130 samples were tested and 4 023 new confirmed cases were reported, however, number of deaths inversely was low totalling 13 during the last 27 days, as compared to 22 deaths reported during 27 days prior. This represents a decline of 69 percent. The number of hospitalised cases remains reasonably low. We are continuing to monitor the situation closely.

“We have observed that a significant number of people who contracted Covid-19 disease, have tested positive for Covid-19 again after full recovery. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention defines reinfection as an infection in the same individual across a different time period with evidence of two different viral strains within more than 45 days in highly suspicious cases of Covid-19 or more than 90 days in asymptomatic cases with low suspicion. Other studies define reinfection as two positive results with a negative test result in between,” Shangula stated.

While on the other hand, the government has instituted new measures to help curb the spread of Covid-19, which will expire on January 15.

“The number of people at public gatherings is restricted to 200, which also applies to sports events and burials. The government will not at this stage implement a curfew in order to allow for a better spread of public transportation and movement of persons. However we encourage the correct wearing of masks in vehicles to avoid the spread of the virus. Trading hours for the sale of alcohol remain unchanged but can be revisited.

“The validity of PCR test results for incoming travellers will be reduced to 72 hours from the time the results are produced to the time of arrival in Namibia. Namibian citizens and permit holders may enter the country with or without a 72-hour PCR test. Those who arrive without 72 hours PCR negative results will be subjected to quarantine at their own cost. The government will conduct random Covid-19 testing for persons permitted entry into Namibia at points of entry,” Geingob stated.