by Okeri Ngutjinazo
HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula yesterday said new Covid-19 cases reported over the past few weeks mean that people are becoming infected in their localities during their everyday activities.
The country recorded 74 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, which brings the total cases to 1 917 with eight deaths and 104 recoveries.
Shangula said 56 of the new infections were recorded at Walvis Bay, three at Swakopmund, four each in Windhoek and at Rosh Pinah, two each at Oshakati and Rundu and one each at Okahandja, Omaruru and Onandjokwe.
Fifty-four of the new cases are men. Their ages range from 15 to 77.
The minister said it is time for all Namibians to change their behaviour and do everything to reduce risk. This can also be done by assessing how important it is to attend a social gathering.
He noted that the country has seen from Walvis Bay how intense the spread of this virus can be and therefore the regulations should be taken to heart before the situation in communities becomes overwhelming.
“When we go to public places, we should keep it as brief as possible, and we should be diligent with masks for the entire time we are near other people. Those of us who are more vulnerable and those of us who care for vulnerable loved ones should be especially careful,” he said.
He added that people older than 65 years and people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure, are much more likely to get very sick or even to die from virus.
Shangula further cautioned regions in stage 4 of the exit plan to be vigilant and not drop their guard during the pandemic.
“Some people have started to behave as if the pandemic is no longer with us. This dangerous and false sense of security will further put our country at greater risk,” he added.
For the healthcare workers, Shangula said the risks are even greater because of the nature of their work. He urged them to continue protecting themselves with appropriate PPE at all times.
The case from Omaruru is of a 57-year-old man with no travel history and no contact with a known case. He presented with chronic backache and was tested as part of an active case search on 24 July 2020.
Shangula said the cases from Rosh Pinah are all employees at Spar and contacts of a confirmed case.