Covid-19: Second wave hits Namibia

President Hage Geingob has pleaded with Namibians to adhere to regulations and preventative measures.

17 December 2020 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES







WINDHOEK

Following a surge in Covid-19 cases in the country, particularly in the Khomas Region, the health ministry has restationed the military hospital from the Hosea Kutako International Airport to support the Windhoek Central Hospital.

This was confirmed by health ministry executive director Ben Nangombe, who said the Covid-19 situation has escalated drastically – to the point that they are dealing with 24 critically ill patients at a time.

This comes at a time when health professionals are complaining that hospitals are overcrowded, with Covid-19 afflicted people streaming in daily.

According to health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula, over the last 16 days, about 2 497 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed, compared to 850 cases confirmed during the same period prior to the last Covid-19 public briefing.

“This is an exponential increase by 1 647 cases or 194%. This is quite alarming. Additionally, the increase in cases has been observed in nine regions, namely Khomas, Erongo, Otjozondjupa, //Karas, Kunene, Oshana, Oshikoto, Kavango East, and Omusati,” he said.

Healthcare workers at risk

Shangula added that healthcare workers remain at risk, with the cumulative number of infections among the profession standing at 702.

“This places a huge burden on the health system as it affects the country’s capacity to respond to the pandemic. Healthcare staff and other frontline workers remain the country’s key asset in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have commissioned an investigation in the circumstances that leads to increase infection among the healthcare workers,” he said.

‘Covid is fatal’

Meanwhile, over the weekend, a private doctor wrote on social media that they are struggling with bed capacity.

“Really sick Covid-19 positive patients and more calling with their really sick family members. We feel helpless and also so tired. This is a plea to please not attend big gatherings, churches, funerals, weddings, birthday parties.”

President Hage Geingob has also pleaded with Namibians to adhere to regulations and preventative measures and warned that a second wave of Covid-19 infections has officially hit the country.

“The number of Covid-19-related hospital admissions has sharply increased in different parts of the country. The number of Covid-19-related deaths has also increased in recent weeks.

“Covid-19 is fatal. Our actions over the next several weeks will determine the trajectory of our battle against this invisible enemy,” he said.

Namibia has, over the last seven days, recorded an average of 200 cases per day.

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