Covid numbers alarming

18 June 2021 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES



WINDHOEK

Namibia’s third Covid-19 wave surges on, with the country recording both its highest death toll – 33 – and its highest number of cases – 2 075 – on Wednesday.

Of the fatalities, 27 were not vaccinated, one person had gotten only one vaccine dose and the vaccination status of the remaining five is unknown.

Meanwhile, the occupancy rate of the country’s intensive care units (ICUs) and Covid-19 isolation units now hovers between 67% to 100% on any given day.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020, the health ministry has brought on 709 additional beds across the country for the Covid-19 response, most of which are now occupied.

With the rapid increase of advanced cases, the country now has a very high demand for personal protective equipment, oxygen and healthcare staff, as more and more nurses and doctors fall prey to Covid-19.

As a result, health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula announced that they have now put a plan in motion to decongest referral hospitals by reducing the number of cold cases and elective surgical procedures for the time being.

“The cost of not acting now would be far greater. By any measure, these numbers are indeed alarming,” he said of the Covid-19 cases and deaths.

Strict measures

To curb the spread of the virus, government this week introduced a string of new measures. The sale of alcohol is now only allowed between 09:00 and 18:00 from Monday to Saturday, and only on a take-away basis.

Gambling houses, casinos, betting houses and night clubs have been deemed high-risk and are not permitted to operate, while kapana traders are only allowed to sell on a take-away basis.

Managers and employers are encouraged to introduce shifts to decongest workplaces and limit interaction amongst staff to reduce the infections.

Contact sport remains prohibited as well as gyms and fitness facilities, while spectators are not allowed at sporting events.

All public transport operators across the country may only load passengers to half the capacity of their vehicle in order to reduce interaction which contributes to the spread of the virus.

Individuals who have been swabbed and are suspected of being infected with Covid-19, either because they are symptomatic or have been in contact with a positive case, must remain in home-quarantine until their results are released.

Furthermore, pregnant women, the elderly and people with comorbidities who are suspected to be Covid-19 positive will be isolated at government facilities for close monitoring by health personnel until they are out of danger.

All newly confirmed cases who live with someone older than 50 or with comorbidities must be isolated at a non-health facility, while visits to old age homes must be restricted and employees at the old age homes are encouraged to be vaccinated.

The ministry is currently in consultation with the security cluster and the judiciary to explore the possibility of spot fines to be introduced under the Public Health Regulation.

Options are also being explored for sanctions to be levied on professionals registered with relevant health professional bodies, or to lay charges ethically for the spread of fake news or conspiracies against interventions by government.

Concealing of Covid-19 contacts during the contact tracing process will also constitute an offence.

[email protected]

Similar News

 

Erongo hospitals have space, Jonas assures

20 hours ago | Health

IRENE-MARI VAN DER WALTSWAKOPMUNDHospitals across the Erongo Region have adequate space, health director Anna Jonas says.She encouraged the public with Covid-19 to seek medical attention...

Is Covid targeting children?

20 hours ago | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKThe health ministry is at a loss of words after Namibia recorded seven times the Covid-19 child deaths of the...

Vaccinations slowly picking up in northern Namibia

20 hours ago | Health

TUNOHOLE MUNGOBAOSHAKATIThe governor of the Oshana Region, Elia Irimari, says regional health authorities ran out of Covid-19 vaccines two weeks ago, but received a new...

Covid-19: Farmers’ union donates nebulisers

1 day - 22 July 2021 | Health

NAMPAOPUWOThe Ngatuuane Farmers Union (NFU), through the Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU), on Tuesday donated 10 nebulisers to the Kunene health directorate to support the...

Breathe Namibia continues its lifesaving crusade

2 days ago - 21 July 2021 | Health

During the first week of the Breathe Namibia campaign, more than 50 Oxygenators were delivered to nine Namibian towns. Recipients were located in Mariental, Rehoboth,...

Covid trauma haunts learners

2 days ago - 21 July 2021 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKThe loss of experienced teachers to Covid-19 is weighing heavily on the...

Lack of ambulances in Kavango regions

2 days ago - 21 July 2021 | Health

KENYA KAMBOWEOMEGAPatients from inland communities in the Kavango East and West regions struggle to reach the nearest health facility in the absence of ambulances.In the...

Covid-19: Battered Namibia turning the corner

4 days ago - 19 July 2021 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKNamibia is finally beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel after a vicious third wave of Covid-19...

Rundu hospital for emergencies, referrals only

4 days ago - 19 July 2021 | Health

Kenya Kambowe RUNDURundu residents have since Friday had to turn to clinics for healthcare assistance following a...

Covid deaths take toll on the elderly - Geingob

4 days ago - 19 July 2021 | Health

NAMPA WINDHOEKPresident Hage Geingob has expressed concern that 55% of Covid-19 deaths recorded were among people above the age of 60,...

Latest News

Bridging the healthcare divide saves...

20 hours ago | Columns

Celia Sofia StephanusIn December 2019, Covid-19 became something for the world to worry about. It was no longer something that was just happening in Asia....

Give me Namibia’s unemployment problem...

20 hours ago | People

Wetumwene Shikage She was born in Katutura, in a settlement known as Gemeente, which she describes with pride saying that after apartheid during...

Border posts’ revenue in Zambezi...

20 hours ago | Economics

Border posts in Zambezi recorded a 26% decrease in revenue during the 2020/21 financial year, regional governor Lawrence Sampofu has said.Delivering his State of the...

Making his way up the...

20 hours ago | People

Desiree GasesEddie King was born and raised in the Western Transvaal town of Klerksdorp. He grew up in a home with loving, committed and hard-working...

Maria Louw manages an integral...

20 hours ago | People

Michelline NawatisesAfter being at Paratus for 14 years, Maria Louw considers herself to be “part of the furniture”, but Paratus considers her part of the...

Meeting the legal needs of...

20 hours ago | Business

Rivaldo Kavanga The firm is a general law practice. Their main areas of practice are criminal defence, labour law, commercial litigation, corporate governance, administrative law,...

EDITORIAL: Namibia must listen to...

20 hours ago | Opinion

The oil search in the Kavango East Region gives Namibia another glimmer of hope for a prime resource breakthrough, but this has not been without...

Breathing deep

20 hours ago | Business

During the first week of the Breathe Namibia campaign, Agra and Woermann, Brock & Co staff handed over more than 50 Oxygenators to recipients in...

Emilia Eino takesing up her...

20 hours ago | People

Emilia Eino has been in the ICT industry for the past ten years. She first served as a development planner responsible for ICT infrastructure development...

Load More