COVID-19 cases increase to 13

By Confidente Reporter

PRESIDENT Hage Geingob has expressed concern over the behaviour of some Namibians that remain defiant in the face of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and who are exposing themselves and others to risk by not adhering to the regulations set out under the state of emergency.

This type of behaviour, he said, creates an opportunity for the deadly virus to spread across the country, a situation that will have detrimental effects on society and the economy. “Some people are not taking the seriousness of the matter. Let us cooperate and adhere to suggestions.”

The President raised his concern yesterday at State House, where he also revealed that he had tested negative for the coronavirus. His remarks come as the Namibian Police arrested, charged and fined 28 people across the country for contravening regulations of the state of emergency.

A majority of those arrested were fined up to N$4 000. In Omusati, for instance, the police arrested a man from Oshikushashipya village after 350 people were found gathered at his residence for prayer.

Also at State House yesterday, Health and Social Services Minister Kalumbi Shangula said the country now has 13 confirmed cases of the lethal virus. Kalumbi said that Namibia continues to confront the threat posed by COVID-19 head-on.

“This situation demands the cooperation of all Namibians from all walks of life. Government is mindful of the fact that the measures introduced recently as part of the state of emergency will have far reaching effects on the lives of our people in all parts of the country. These measures are put in place to enable our country to combat the further spread of COVID-19 in our communities, and specifically to prevent community transmission of the disease,” he said.

“Our aim is to ensure that Namibia does not reach such a stage [where the spread of COVID-19 is uncontrollable]. It is for this reason that the steps we are taking are important and absolutely necessary. In this regard, the ministry calls on all Namibians to cooperate fully and to comply with the guidelines that are being implemented by the officials from the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Namibian Defense Force and the Namibian Police and other public authorities. We need to cooperate for the sake of our nation and for the sake of our own health.”

He said as part of the ongoing campaign, the ministry will in the coming weeks accelerate testing for COVID-19, especially for persons with respiratory ailments. “In addition, we will undertake active case detection by expanding the scope of work of community health workers. We do this in order to determine the extent of community transmission in Namibia. Our focus will be on the three regions with confirmed COVID-19 cases, namely Karas, Khomas and Erongo regions.”

In an update on the cases confirmed in the country so far, Shangula said there are currently 13 cases of confirmed COVID-19 infection: one in Karas, two in Erongo and eight in Khomas. “Out of the 11 cases, one is local transmission between case 8 and 3. The remainders are all imported,” he said.

Shangula added that to date the number of samples of suspected cases sent for testing to labs here in Namibia and in South Africa currently stands at 306. “Of these, 150 were submitted to NIP (Namibia Institute of Pathology) and 156 submitted to Pathcare, which in turn sent the samples to South Africa for testing. Out of all samples received to date, 265 have been tested. Of these, 11 samples were tested by NIP and 154 by Pathcare. All the results have been received.”

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