Covid-19 looms over Windhoek

Another headache is the increasing risk of healthcare workers contracting the virus, with four more health workers announced as positive on Saturday, in addition to the 39 announced last week, who are now out of action.

10 August 2020 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK



Windhoek is increasingly becoming the new epicentre of the country's Covid-19 outbreak with 32 out of 50 cases reported on Saturday by the health ministry stemming from several of the capital's leafy suburbs and informal settlements.

Eight cases alone were reported in Khomasdal, while Elisenheim, Greenwell Matongo, Otjomuise and Rocky Crest recorded two cases each. Cimbebasia, Grysblock, Auspannplatz, Klein Kuppe, Pioneers Park, Suiderhof, Shandumbala, Brakwater, Hochland Park, Okahandja Park and Osona recorded one case each.

There were also five cases where no location was indicated. Among the cases, four are healthcare workers.

On Saturday evening, health ministry executive director Ben Nangombe pleaded with Namibians, particularly Windhoek residents, to be careful and responsible citizens.

“The ministry wishes to record that the situation in Windhoek is becoming increasingly worrisome, as the number of positive cases is growing exponentially. We continue to call for greater personal responsibility. We have no other choice. All Namibians from all walks of life must lend a hand to curb and suppress the spread,” he said.

Another headache is the increasing risk of healthcare workers contracting the virus, with four more health workers announced as positive on Saturday, in addition to the 39 announced last week, who are now out of action.



No excuse

Meanwhile, the head of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Namibia, Dr Eric Dziuban, said it is not surprising for Windhoek to overtake Walvis Bay with the number of new Covid-19 cases. He, however, cautioned that this unfolding crisis must be tackled head-on and strongly.

“We have had much time to prepare for this time, several months after so many cities have become epicentres before us. So, we need to react strongly. This cannot be a time for us to be tired of the virus. We need to protect our healthcare workers, our elderly and our vulnerable,” he said.

Dziuban added that if Namibia can limit transmission, it can get its schools, churches and businesses back on track. “At this point, there is no excuse to be casual about this very real threat that we are facing,” he said.

Former presidential advisor on health matters, Dr Bernard Haufiku, last week said the best approach would be to get the elderly, those with underlying issues and people who have had transplants isolated and out of harm's way.

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