25 had contact with corona-infected couple

19 March 2020 | Disasters

Nineteen of the 25 people who came into contact with the Romanian couple that tested positive for the coronavirus shortly after arriving in Namibia from Doha last week have so far been traced.

This was confirmed by health minister Kalumbi Shangula yesterday.

World Health Organisation (WHO) representative in Namibia, Dr Charles Sagoe-Moses, said people who had been on the flight that carried the couple to Namibia were also being traced and that some had made contact with the health ministry and had plans to return to Windhoek for testing.





“We are going backwards [tracing], but at the moment, we are focusing on those who are in the country,” he said.

The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) will also assist the health ministry to conduct an assessment on the potential number of people who may be infected by the coronavirus.

Shangula also confirmed that 24 people have so far been tested for possible exposure to the virus.

He said, as of Tuesday, a cumulative 24 suspected cases were reported in Namibia and all of them were tested.

Meanwhile, Shangula called for calm.

“The nation is urged to remain calm and to cooperate with the ministry of health and other agencies of the state,” he said.

In instances where the ministry was aware of potential cases of infection, Shangula noted that their right to refuse medical treatment would not be entertained.

On the use of face masks, Shangula said it offered a false sense of security. According to him, it is only necessary to wear masks to limit the spread of the virus to others once you are already infected.

“We have observed that masks and gloves are now in short supply in the shops, as a result of panic-buying by members of the public. A mask protects others from you, not you from others,” Shangula said.

“Wearing gloves in public for no apparent reason does not protect you from anything. It gives you a false sense of security.”

Members of the public are reminded to contact the health ministry regarding suspected coronavirus cases on 0800 100 100 free of charge to obtain further information.

OGONE TLHAGE

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