by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THIRTEEN inmates are among the new Covid-19 cases confirmed yesterday.

Announcing the latest update on the pandemic, minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula confirmed the Namibian Correctional Service has been hit by the pandemic.

He said Namibia yesterday recorded 120 new Covid-19 cases, with 72 from Windhoek.

“It is imperative that people in secluded places like prisons, holding cells, hospitals, hostels, police camps, military barracks et cetera observe more precautionary measures, as the risk of fast transmission to a number of people is very high in these settings,” Shangula said.

Swakopmund yesterday recorded the second highest number of new positive cases with 18, Gobabis 10, Walvis Bay eight, Okahandja three, Mariental two, Grootfontein one, Rehoboth one, Keetmanshoop one, Karasburg one, Lüderitz one, Oshikuku one and Oshakati one.

The minister said since 12 August they have observed a downward trend in the number of cases from the Erongo region – especially Walvis Bay.

He said daily new cases declined from a high of 97 on 12 August to 26 yesterday.

“It is our hope that the curve is starting to come down. However, we should not lower our guards yet. We need to be more motivated to adhere to preventative measures for this dream to come true,” he said.

Shangula said Erongo residents, especially those in the restricted areas of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis, endured a lot of hardship due to curbing measures.

“These measures may just be bearing fruit,” he said.

The minister also expressed concern over the 10 cases reported in the Omaheke region, particularly at Gobabis.

He said one of the cases is that of an 84-year-old woman from Aminuis, with no known contact with a confirmed case.

The woman, who was tested on 13 August, has multiple co-morbidities and is currently at the Gobabis State Hospital.

“We have observed with concern the rising number of cases in the Omaheke region since 7 August. This calls for increased vigilance throughout the country to stem the tide,” Shangula said.

Meanwhile, the Khomas region recorded 28 new recoveries. The Oshana region for the first time reported a Covid-19-related death at Ongwediva. The deceased is a 65-year-old man with multiple co-morbidities.

He was admitted and tested on 4 August at a local private hospital as he presented with symptoms consistent with Covid-19. His results came back positive on 5 August, and on 15 August his clinical condition deteriorated.

The man died on 16 August.

“The devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic continues. We express our sincere condolences to the bereaved family,” Shangula said.

Namibia now has 4 464 confirmed cases, with 2 407 recoveries, 2 020 active cases and 37 deaths.

“Of the active cases, 14 are severely sick, while four are critically sick,” the minister said.

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