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Home / Namibia surpasses 4 000 Covid deaths…vaccine resistance remains a concern

Namibia surpasses 4 000 Covid deaths…vaccine resistance remains a concern

2022-02-21  Paheja Siririka

Namibia surpasses 4 000 Covid deaths…vaccine resistance remains a concern

Namibia over the weekend surpassed the 4 000 Covid-19 death mark, showing an indication the pandemic is still claiming lives, even though numbers of fatalities have decreased and regulations have been relaxed.

So far, 4 002 people have died from Covid-19 in Namibia.

The World Health Organisation reports that globally, as of 18 February 2022, there have been 418 650 474 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 5 856 224 deaths. As of 14 February 2022, more than 10 billion vaccine doses have been administered.

In January this year, Namibia’s health ministry revealed that 81% of new infections, 97% hospital admissions, 94% ICU admissions and 91% Covid-19 deaths are of unvaccinated persons. 

Overall, since the beginning of the vaccination campaign in March 2021, analyses of the Covid-19 statistics indicate that the benefits of vaccination are convincingly demonstrated – in Namibia and beyond.

The latest figure from the ministry shows the youngest person to succumb to the virus was below the age of one and the oldest is a nonagenarian.

As of 19 February, “8 956 children aged 12 to 17 years have received one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, representing 3.0% of the target population (307 298). Of these, 1 650 are fully vaccinated.”

Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula added that the cumulative number of people vaccinated with the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine for both adults and children is 438 290, of which 371 653 are fully vaccinated, translating to 20.9% of the total target population 1 779 271.




So far, 429 334 people aged 18 years and older have received one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, representing 29.2% of the target population (1 471 973). A total of 121 868 have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, while 248 126 adults have received two doses of other vaccine types. 

Hence, 369 853 adults have completed their vaccination, translating to 25.1% of the target population. In comparison, with a population of slightly over 2.4 million, neighbouring Botswana has been doing relatively better with their vaccination campaign as they have managed to inoculate more than two million of the eligible population. They have recorded 332 local deaths. They have fully vaccinated more than one million of the eligible population so far.

First Covid-19 death

About 116 days after the influx of pandemic in Namibia, the first Covid-19-related death was recorded on 10 July 2020. It involved a 45-year-old man from Walvis Bay who was presented at the Walvis Bay State Hospital on 5 July with complaints of dizziness, difficulty in breathing and cough. Shangula said on 8 July, the patient became restless, hyperventilating and died. This he said was after a positive confirmatory result of the virus.

With over 4 000 deaths in just under two years, Covid-19 has touched most Namibians. Communities have lost leaders due to the pandemic, including Ovaherero Paramount Chief Advocate Vekuii Reinhardt Rukoro, Namibia’s former diplomat Zed Ngavirue, Chief Joel Stephanus of the Vaalgras Traditional Authority, founding president Sam Nujoma’s sister Sofia Asino, Jeff Mbako; advisor to President Hage Geingob from 2015 to 2018, Dirk Mudge; Namibian politician and many other prominent and key figures in various societies.

The BBC also reported former Namibian football star Marley Ngarizemo lost 15 relatives including his father, brother, sister-in-law and an aunt since the third wave of Covid-19 hit the country in June 2021.

He was quoted as saying: “You can compare it to a tsunami, you can compare this to a volcano, and you can compare it to genocide. I don’t know. It’s like there is poison in the water, and every drop you take might have it, or might not have it.”

Vice president Nangolo Mbumba at the recent 40th Covid-19 briefing in the capital said the trajectory of the pandemic differs across different countries around the globe. 

“The common denominator is that all countries have been negatively affected both in lives lost and livelihood disrupted and thus forced to continue implementing measures to address the spread of the virus and the impacts of the pandemic,” stated Mbumba.

He said: “The country is now in the latent stage of the fourth wave as cases have declined, however, the government continues to observe, with concern, the public apprehension and hesitancy on the safety of Covid-19 vaccines.” He reiterated and assured that vaccines are safe and the government has no intention of putting its citizens in harm’s way.

“I offer assurances to members of the public, that the government will not do anything to compromise the health of our people,” he stated. Mbumba said: “The Covid-19 vaccines are effective measures to mitigate severe illness and death from infection and I urge all eligible members of the public to go and get vaccinated, or their booster shots as a means of bolstering their immunities.”

2022-02-21  Paheja Siririka

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