by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE national coordinator of the Covid-19 task force, Bernard Haufiku, says they suspect there are undetected cases of Covid-19 community transmission in the country.

TRANSMISSIONS… from left: Who representative Petrus Mhata; NIP COO Bonnie Makumbi and the COVID-19 national coordinator Bernard Haufiku.

Speaking at the Covid-19 communication centre yesterday afternoon, Haufiku said scientifically it is not possible for Namibia to not have recorded any new cases for the past 10 days.

“It could be the fact that we are not testing enough people is the reason why we have no new cases reported. However, Namibia is following the guidelines for testing,” he said.

The national coordinator noted that the 16 confirmed cases show that Namibia has been able to contain the virus adequately, but the nation needs to be cautiously optimistic.

“I do not mean to be pessimistic, but we might have more cases out there,” Haufiku said.

Commenting on the extension of the lockdown, Haufiku expressed optimism that the additional two weeks would be effective in containing the spread of the virus to the community. Haufiku said the lockdown is an essential step towards flattening the curve, thus intercepting the possible transmission of the virus in the community.

He added that although Namibia is doing well in terms of containing the virus and not recording any new cases, the country still needs to increase its testing capability.

Haufiku noted that the situation is unfolding, and how the pandemic would pan out in Namibia with regards to community transmissions is unknown.

The acting chief operations officer for the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP), Bonnie Makumbi, says the institute has managed to test 338 samples countrywide, out of the over 400 samples submitted.

Makumbi said currently the samples are tested centrally, in Windhoek, but the plan is to roll out the testing to other regions.

He said the NIP has ordered a consignment to enhance testing and increase capacity to a maximum of 30 000.

Speaking at the Covid-19 communication centre, Petrus Mhata, a representative of the World Health Organisation in Namibia, said the current priority is to contain the virus and prevent incidents of community transmission.

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