Erongo Covid-19 cases expected to top 6 000

22 July 2020 | Health



Covid-19 cases in Erongo are expected to rise to 6 228 by the end of August, a new report has predicted.

The situation report by the Erongo Corona Care (ECC) initiative comes as the number of Covid-19 deaths in the country increased to seven yesterday, while 22 new cases, bringing the country's total confirmed cases to 1 366, were also reported.

ECC has predicted that the number of confirmed cases will reach 2 203 in Erongo by the end of the month.

This figure is predicted to increase significantly at the end of August to 6 228 cases.

The forecasts are based on the number of people living in Kuisebmond in Walvis Bay, which is currently Namibia's coronavirus epicentre.

Local transmission

ECC noted that the number of confirmed cases started increasing exponentially as soon as local transmission occurred. “The conditions in the Twaloloka settlement are worse [than] that [of] a passenger vessel or high-rise building. Ablution [facilities] are shared and running water [is] not available, [along] with overcrowding and communal transport,” ECC's document said. It also concluded that it will be very difficult to contain the pandemic in the region.

ECC chairperson Andre Pretorius confirmed the authenticity of the report. According to him, authorities were working around the clock to install oxygen points within the region, which he said was estimated to be sufficient until the end of August, based on predictions.

Isolation estimates

The initiative has also estimated that the number of people that would need to be quarantined could reach 5 598 in the region by the end of August.

Erongo currently has a maximum bed capacity of 500, ECC noted.

The strategy behind investing heavily in isolation facilities meant that these could later be converted into partitioned hospitals, Pretorius said.

“These cases could result in social disharmony, as is now becoming evident in the community,” the document said.

Millions in costs

The latest health ministry update on Covid-19 has placed the number of people under compulsory supervised quarantine at 648 across the country.

ECC also estimated that the cost of isolation was likely to reach N$30 million over July and August in Erongo.

The budget for food has been estimated at N$6 000 per person for the same period, with a total of N$133 million being spent by the end of the period.