by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE country director for the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Namibia, Eric Dziuban, says the spike in Covid-19 cases will most likely push up the death toll.

Image used for illustrative purposes.

This could lead to deaths reported in Windhoek within a month, as seen at the coast.

The country’s Covid-19-related death toll currently stands at nine, after the minister of health and social services, Kalumbi Shangula, announced a new death at Walvis Bay, involving a 44-year-old woman.

In the past two weeks Windhoek has been seeing a spike in coronavirus cases, with most of the patients having no travel history or known contact with a confirmed case.

This indicates community transmissions.

Shangula yesterday announced that eight of the 69 new Covid-19 cases are from Windhoek.

Roughly half of the capital’s cases have no travel history nor known contact with a confirmed case.

“Unfortunately, we should expect more deaths to occur. We know that Walvis Bay started having transmissions about a month before we started seeing those signals in Windhoek. So it is not surprising that we started seeing deaths at Walvis Bay, and we would expect that possibly a month later we would start seeing deaths in Windhoek,” Dziuban said.

He said Namibians should do all they can to avoid deaths, but there is a need to be prepared.

He reiterated that cases in Windhoek have been infected during their daily activities in the city.

“So this is a situation that can easily grow very quickly. The government is doing its part to increase testing to try to identify where the transmission is happening and contain it. But it is also a time for citizens to be very cautious and look at what behaviours could be changed to reduce the risk,” he said.

He implored Namibians to constantly wear masks, especially in public, and to avoid large gatherings.

Shangula yesterday said it is very concerning that a growing number of positive Covid-19 cases have not had known contact with confirmed cases.

He announced yesterday that Walvis Bay reported 57 new coronavirus cases, and that the woman who died had chronic medical conditions.

“She presented to Walvis Bay State Hospital on 21 July with symptoms … She was tested … and the results came out positive. Her condition gradually deteriorated and we lost her on 28 July. We express our profound condolences to the bereaved family,” Shangula said.

Other towns that reported new positive cases are Swakopmund (one), Usakos (one), Mariental (one) and Engela (one).

Namibia’s cases are heading to the 2 000 mark with confirmed cases now at 1 986, with 104 recoveries and 1 873 active cases.

A total of 24 852 tests have been conducted, with 3 174 active contacts traced.

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