Covid grips Nujoma's private office

A member of the founding president's security detail died from the virus a week ago, while seven of his colleagues, including the nonagenarian, tested positive for the virus.

08 December 2020 | Health

TUYEIMO HAIDULA

OSHAKATI



A private guard of Founding President Sam Nujoma died from Covid-19 complications last week, while the former president and his private nurse are among seven persons from his office to have tested positive for the virus.

Nujoma was admitted to a Windhoek hospital on Sunday after mass testing was conducted among his private staff following the guard's death.

Nujoma's private doctor, Tshali Iithete, confirmed that one of the former president's security personnel died from Covid-19 last week, prompting the elder statesman to request mass testing of those around him. President Hage Geingob yesterday confirmed Nujoma's contraction of the virus in a short public statement.



'Stable condition'

“I hereby wish to inform the Namibian people that H.E. Dr Sam Shafishuna Nujoma, the Founding President of the Republic of Namibia, was admitted to hospital on 6 December 2020 after testing positive for Covid-19,” Geingob said, adding that the nonagenarian was “in a stable condition and is showing encouraging signs of improvement.” After mass testing at Nujoma's office, the results were released on Sunday and showed that six staff members had the virus.

Iithete said Nujoma started coughing and showing other symptoms of Covid-19 and he requested that the

91 year-old be tested along with everyone around him.

“He is in a very stable condition and is responding well to treatment. I have just asked that he be hospitalised because of his age as precaution,” he said.





Iithete, who also doubles as Ongwediva Medipark's managing director, said Nujoma's wife Kovambo tested negative.

He said he has requested that those living in Nujoma's house in Windhoek vacate the premises so it can be fumigated, as well as his office.



Community transmission

Iithete said he was worried about the renewed community transmission and urged Namibians to comply with the coronavirus guidelines set out by health minister Kalumbi Shangula.

Iithete also said he is discouraging large gatherings.

He said once Nujoma has recovered and is released from hospital, he will be taken to his farm to take a break from the city.



Surge in cases

Namibia saw a spike in confirmed Covid-19 cases last week, with Shangula expressing concern over the rising numbers.

Last Wednesday, the country confirmed 61 new cases, increasing to 122 on Thursday - three times the ratio reported the previous day.

On Friday, the number increased to 181, with 171 of the cases coming from the Khomas Region alone, while on Saturday the number of confirmed cases stood at 170.

Shangula told Namibian Sun that the increase in new cases could be linked to election fever, with people not adhering to regulations during rallies and election events.

Nujoma attended Swapo campaign rallies in November, including the last star rally held at Sam Nujoma Stadium where thousands of supporters flocked to hear Geingob's last appeal for votes.

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