by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE novel coronavirus cases in Windhoek have increased exponentially in the past few weeks, with total cases exceeding the 1 000 mark.

TEST RUSH … Dozens of Windhoek residents queued up at Robert Mugabe Street Clinic yesterday to get tested for the novel coronavirus. With the number of Covid-19 infections in the capital shooting up sharply in the past two weeks, 1 111 of Namibia’s 4 344 confirmed infections were recorded in the city by yesterday. Fourteen of the 36 people whose deaths have been linked to Covid-19 in Namibia died in Windhoek. Photo: Werner Menges

As of yesterday, the total confirmed cases in the capital stood at 1 111. Of the total 190 new Covid-19 cases announced yesterday, Windhoek accounted for the bulk with 152.

The minister of health and social services, Kalumbi Shangula, yesterday said the Windhoek cases are increasing exponentially.

“In the last two weeks alone, cases reported on a daily basis shifted rapidly from 13 cases to the highest we are reporting today (Monday), that is 152 cases, which is almost a ten-fold increase,” the minister said.

He also said Windhoek had recorded a new Covid-19 related death, bringing the total death toll in the capital to 13.

This brought the total death toll in the country to 36.

Although the cases reported at Erongo region, and particularly Walvis Bay, show a downward trajectory, the minister said this is not evidence-based.

This comes after Shangula said Walvis Bay reported only 17 new cases of the novel coronavirus, Swakopmund eight, and Omaruru one.

This brings the total confirmed cases in Erongo to 2 979.

“We are yet to understand if we are really experiencing a downward trend after reaching a peak at Walvis Bay,” Shangula said.

The other towns that reported new cases yesterday are Rehoboth three, Mariental one, Okahandja one, Otjiwarongo two, Grootfontein one, Lüderitz two, Eehanana one and Rundu one.

As Windhoek is moving towards becoming the hotspot of the virus, the minister added that one of the Rehoboth cases works in Windhoek.

One of the Lüderitz cases had travelled from Windhoek to that town and had come in contact with a confirmed case. A case reported at Kavango East also travelled from Windhoek to Rundu on 1 August.

“He presented with Covid-19 symptoms and was admitted to a local hospital,” the minister said.

In terms of the novel corovirus related death in Windhoek on Monday, Shangula said it is that of a 69-year-old woman who presented with Covid-19 related symptoms on 11 August 2020 at a local facility and was admitted on the same day.

Her condition deteriorated and she died on 12 August and tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

“She was known with a chronic illness,” he said.

Namibia now has 4 344 confirmed cases, 2 379 recoveries, 1 929 active cases and 36 deaths.

The active cases in Khomas region, Windhoek, are roughly 972 as of yesterday, while Erongo region has 862 active cases.

“Of the active cases, 10 are in severely sick condition. Eight are in Khomas region and two in Erongo. Four are critically sick, three in Khomas and one in Erongo region,” the minister said.

COVID-19 TEST

Meanwhile, Shangula said he has been tested for the novel coronavirus and his result was negative.

“This is because the ministerial head office registered a Covid-19 positive case of an employee who attended a wedding. The building had to be disinfected and the staff tested, including myself,” he said.

Deputy health minister Esther Muinjangue has been placed in a state-owned quarantine facility after she arrived from assessing the Covid-19 situation at Erongo region, including Walvis Bay with other deputy ministers.

“I have been in quarantine for the past eight days and I was swabbed for Covid-19 yesterday (Sunday). Now I am just waiting for my results,” the deputy minister said.

She explained that she has no Covid-19 symptoms but had to be tested as part of the normal routine.

“All the deputy ministers who went to Walvis Bay have no symptoms but had to be tested as a routine. We are all okay,” she told The Namibian yesterday.

Muinjangue added that they had to experience first-hand the situation in quarantine facilities, saying she has had to adjust to the situation including the food.

“Some days the food is okay and other days it’s not okay. The food sometimes is not properly seasoned but I told myself this is it, and I have had to adjust,” she said.

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