Namibia’s 22nd coronavirus case, a sailor in ICU

By Confidente Reporter

A new case of coronavirus has been recorded in the country after a 63-year-old Namibian male who is currently in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) tested positive for the disease, Health and Social Services Minister Kalumbi Shangula confirmed during an update at the Covid-19 media centre yesterday.

Shangula said, the 63-year-old man arrived in the country on 5 May via sea on a vessel. The patient was part of eight crew members consisting of four non-Namibians and four Namibians on a fishing vessel that departed the shores of Walvis Bay on 25 April. According to the minister, the vessel came to Namibia for salt and fish products to deliver to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“The vessel arrived in DRC on 30 April and it was reported that the patient did not disembark the vessel in DRC, however Congolese nationals entered the vessel. The vessel returned to Walvis Bay on 5th May, which makes case 22 travel-related,” he stated.

He went on to say that the 22nd case is a person known with underlying medical conditions. He said on 7 May the patient started complaining of shoulder pains to his general practitioner who recommended a prescription which he collected at the pharmacy thereafter.

On 8 May the patient was released from the vessel and allegedly went straight home to self-quarantine without seeing a doctor or being swabbed. The rest of the crew remained on the vessel until now.

“On 14 May, he called his general practitioner for a prescription and collected medication at the pharmacy and on the 19th of the same month the patient went to see his GP with the same complaints of chronic pain. No fever or respiratory symptoms were reported at this point or before,” he explained.

Shangula further stated that on 22 May the patient was admitted to a general ward in a local private hospital and developed difficulties breathing two days after and was intubated and rushed to ICU.

He said, “It was then that a differential diagnosis of Covid-19 was entertained and a rapid antibody test was done, which tested positive. He was then put in isolation in the ICU in the same hospital. A specimen was taken for Covid-19 testing and the results came out positive.”

According to Minister Shangula, the patient is in a critical condition on a ventilator and his condition has not changed since admission to ICU. He also said that all known contacts within the hospital were identified and tested but the results came out negative.

They have since been taken to an isolation facility for monitoring while the authorities are still identifying other possible contacts the patient may have had outside the hospital.