Namibia: Covid-19 Under Control in Namibia

Based on the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 Resurgence Thresholds, the pandemic in Namibia seems to be under control but continuous monitoring is needed at all levels to ensure that response activities correspond with the phase of resurgence.

This was said by health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula at the 44th Covid-19 briefing in the capital yesterday. He said data continues to illustrate consistently that the overwhelming majority of Covid-19 cases being hospitalised, those in high care and ICU, and those succumbing to Covid-19 are invariably unvaccinated persons.

“As of 13 June 2022, Namibia has recorded 168 448 Covid-19 cases out of the 1 050 977 samples tested. “Currently, there are 1 921 active cases compared to 1 034 at the time of the last public briefing. Sadly, 19 lives were lost during this period, bringing the total number of deaths to 4 049 since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Shangula.

He added that the number of deaths increased from eight deaths reported during the preceding 26 days to 19 deaths reported during 29 days of this dispensation, an increase of 125%.

Shangula said: “The number of Covid-19 patients admitted to hospitals increased to an average of 30 per day as compared to 17 reported during the preceding 26 days but the number of Covid-19 patients admitted to ICU has reduced from nine to seven cases currently.”

The recent increase in the number of new cases continues to be driven by the BA.4 and probably the BA.5 sub-lineages of the Omicron variant.

President Hage Geingob urged Namibians to be inoculated against the virus to reach herd immunity and cautioned the nation to be aware of the season.

“Vaccines are effective and they are safe. Let us continue to observe good hand hygiene, and the correct wearing of facemasks, if you do so, especially in public and crowded places. Practice social and physical distancing and personal vigilance, and avoid crowded indoor settings if you can,” he alerted.

With no major changes to the health regulations, the status quo remains: The public is encouraged to continue wearing masks, especially in indoor settings and aeroplanes; the permitted number concerning public gatherings remains unchanged at 1 000 persons per event. These regulations will be enforced until 15 July 2022.

Measles and scabies

The health ministry announced an outbreak of measles beginning of April 2022 with the outbreak reported in Omusati among learners at a school. The viral infection starts in the respiratory system and symptoms include cough, fever, red eyes, sore throat, and white spots in the mouth.

“A total number of 23 cases have been recorded so far. The ages range from five months to nine years. All cases are stable and there are no hospital admissions. The ministry has enhanced surveillance activities in all adjacent districts and regions,” stated Shangula.

On scabies, Shangula said so far, 5 588 scabies cases have been reported country-wide from Omaheke, Ohangwena, Kavango East and Kavango West, management activities were put in action and the disease is now under control. “The most common symptoms of scabies are intense itching and a pimple-like skin rash.

Scabies is an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite. The mite burrows into the upper layer of the skin where it lives and lays its eggs.

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