by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

NAMIBIA has recorded more than 11 000 novel coronavirus infections since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula said yesterday.

Shangula announced 115 new confirmed coronavirus infections, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the country to 11 033. The country also recorded 27 more recoveries of people who had contracted the virus, he announced.

Namibia’s number of confirmed coronavirus infections passed 10 000 on 17 September.

Onandjokwe in northern Namibia reported the most new cases yesterday, with 48, followed by Windhoek with 37, 13 at Swakopmund, five at Otjiwarongo and three at Okahandja. Rundu, Okakarara and Mariental recorded three new cases each, with Katima Mulilo, Omaruru and Rehoboth reporting one each.

“Today we record the high number of 48 pupils testing positive for Covid-19 from a senior secondary school in the Onandjokwe district, in the Oshikoto region,” Shangula said. “These are contacts of pupils who tested positive at the same school earlier.”

He said infections remain on the rise in crowded settings or facilities like hostels.

“We are also observing sporadic cases from different schools countrywide, which indicates active transmission. Hence, strict measures are encouraged in schools to limit spread among pupils. As mentioned previously, a crowded setting provides a conducive environment for transmission [. . .] therefore it remains critical that we shield as much as possible and prevent more cases,” Shangula said.

By yesterday, the country had recorded 8 776 recoveries in total, with 2 137 active cases and 120 deaths.

Out of the 2 137 active cases, 1 794 – 84% of the total – were in Windhoek. Close to 50% of the 11 033 confirmed cases countrywide – a little more than 5 000 – were also recorded in Windhoek.

Of the 120 deaths linked to Covid-19 in Namibia, 57 were recorded in Windhoek, which also translates to almost 50% of the total number of deaths.

Khomas regional governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua confirmed these figures on Thursday, adding that the number of infections recorded daily in Windhoek has been on the decrease from 19 to 23 September.

An analysis of the figures shows that Windhoek reported 328 infections from 12 to 17 September and 245 from 19 to 23 September.

Out of the 1 841 active coronavirus infections in Windhoek by Thursday, only 87 people were in isolation at 14 different isolation facilities.

“The overall regional statistics continue to register the decrease of daily active cases and reasonable numbers of daily recoveries. These positive reflections must motivate us to remain focused in our objective to minimise the broad social and economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” McLeod-Katjirua said.

Speaking on her Covid-19 regional response strategy, she called on Khomas residents to adhere to the set health and hygiene protocols.

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