by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE Erongo region, which is the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak, needs more quarantine and isolation facilities to deal with the increasing numbers of confirmed cases and their contacts.

Image used for illustrative purposes.

The region is also in need of human resources to deal with contact tracing as confirmed cases might have come in contact with 20 to 30 people.

The region’s health director Anna Jonas who said the bulk of the confirmed Covid-19 cases are from the region, revealed this at the Covid-19 communication centre virtually on Sunday.

The confirmed cases in the Erongo region now stand at 711, with roughly 98% of the cases originating from Walvis Bay, roughly 10 from Swakopmund and one case from Omaruru.

“Seven of our cases have recovered and unfortunately we have one death,” Jonas said.

Jonas stressed that the quarantine and isolation facilities in the region are not enough but they are using the facilities provided by the municipalities. Some private companies have made available their establishments to be used for isolation and quarantine.

“As the cases are increasing, the needs of the region are increasing. So here we are talking about human resources because you need people to do contact tracing of the confirmed cases. Especially seeing that we have so many cases and for each case record that may have 20 to 30 contacts…(sic),” she said.

She also added that the region’s needs for oxygen and ventilators has increased and that the health and social services ministry has made some of those available.

“We are in the process of acquiring more oxygen capacity at our different facilities,” Jonas said.

Speaking at the same platform, Erongo regional governor Neville Andre said the central government is assisting the region by sending resources, particularly to Walvis Bay, which is hardest hit.

“We are also engaging the private sector on how they can assist us. We also have donations from the private sector to assist us. Additionally, medical doctors have also made themselves available to assist in dealing with the virus,” he said.

Meanwhile, health minister Kalumbi Shangula says Namibia has recorded 72 new positive cases of Covid-19, with 68 cases being from Walvis Bay, one is from Swakopmund, one at Oshakati, one at Keetmanshoop and one at Engela.

This brings the total confirmed cases to 785.

According to the minister, 71 are Namibians and one is a South African.

Shangula added that 41 of the cases are males and 31 females, with the youngest being 1 years old and the oldest is 58 years old.

“They are all clinically stable and contact tracing is ongoing,” the minister said. Case 17 from Keetmanshoop has now recovered, bringing the total recoveries to 26.

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