by Okeri Ngutjinazo
MINISTER of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula yesterday said remdesivir, an antiviral medicine used in patients with severe Covid-19 symptoms, should not be seen as a cure or a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.
The country received 1 000 ampoules of the treatment last Monday and is awaiting 2 000 more.
The ampoules cost the ministry more than N$3 million.
So far the medication has been distributed to some health facilities, while others are still ordering it from the Central Medical Stores.
“I would like to clarify that this medicine is neither a cure for Covid-19 nor a vaccine against Covid-19. This medicine helps with early recovery of patients with Covid-19 symptoms. It is prescribed by doctors to patients where it is indicated, but not given to people to prevent them from contracting Covid-19 or being infected with Covid-19,” the minister said.
Shangula said there is currently no vaccine against Covid-19, although promising candidate vaccines are being developed.
He said the public should continue following regulations such as social distancing, mask wearing, frequent hand washing and sanitising, avoiding public gatherings and limiting unnecessary travel.
FOUR MORE DEATHS
The minister yesterday also announced four more Covid-19 deaths in Namibia.
Two of the deceased are from Windhoek, one from Oshakati and one from Walvis Bay. They involve three men aged 41, 49 and 64, and a 32-year-old woman.
Shangula said the country has recorded 238 new Covid-19 cases, of which 126 are men and 112 women.
The youngest new case is two months old and the oldest 65.
Windhoek recorded the highest number of new cases at 145, Walvis Bay and Rundu recorded nine each, Oshakati eight, Tsumeb and Katima Mulilo seven each, and Onandjokwe, Otjiwarongo, Keetmanshoop and Rehoboth six each.
Okahandja and Eenhana recorded five new cases each, Swakopmund and Usakos four each, Karasburg, Mariental and Gobabis three each, and Engela and Okongo one each.
The county has also recorded 29 new recoveries, 21 from the Khomas region and eight from the Omaheke region.
This brings the total number of recoveries in the country to 3 483.
The total number of active cases now stands at 4 513.
Of these, 21 are severely or critically ill.
Namibia now has 8 082 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 86 deaths.