Authorities trace coronavirus contacts

As hospitals and clinics ramp up their Covic-19 preparedness, the health ministry is pulling out all the stops to trace those who have been in contact with the latest three people to test positive.

30 March 2020 | Disasters

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



Authorities are trying to track down all those who have been in contact with three Namibians who are the latest coronavirus cases in the country.

The health ministry on Saturday announced that the confirmed cases had increased to 11 and were all travel-related. Health minister Kalumbi Shangula said it is critical to trace the contacts of all known cases.

He said they will be monitored for 14 days and if they show symptoms, they will be tested. Shangula said the health authorities are also testing others with travel histories and suspicious symptoms.



Testing

According to him the Robert Mugabe Clinic in Windhoek has started screening and testing patients for coronavirus and these services will be made available in other areas soon. “Testing is also taking place at private laboratories, especially through private hospitals.”

All test results conducted on specimens collected within Namibian borders must be reported to the National Institute of Pathology (NIP).

“This is important to ensure a truly national response,” Shangula said.



Hospitals prepare

A prefabricated 12-bed facility within the Windhoek Central Hospital Complex will be handed over by the contractor this week. In other regions, especially at district hospitals, preparedness has been scaled up, said Shangula.

He stressed that all Namibians must adhere to the regulations of the state of emergency and the lockdown in force in the Khomas and Erongo regions until 17 April.



Latest cases

According to the ministry the ninth case is a 35-year-old Namibian woman who lives in South Africa. She arrived in Namibia on 20 March. On 24 March she saw a private doctor and was sent for testing at PathCare.

The samples were sent to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in South Africa the following day and the test result was reported positive on 27 March.

The ministry said her condition is stable and arrangements have been made for her to be admitted to an isolation facility.

The 10th case is 33-year-old Namibian woman who travelled to Dubai and Johannesburg this month. She returned to Namibia on 17 March and visited a health facility on 26 March.

Her test was done by the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) and came back positive on Saturday.

The 11th case is 69-year-old Namibian man who had travelled to Johannesburg and returned to Namibia on 12 March. He visited a health facility on 25 March and the NIP announced on 27 March that he had tested positive.

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