As Covid-19 spreads throughout the country, 12 offenders and one officer at the Windhoek correctional facility have tested positive for the
Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula announced yesterday that 13 of the 72 cases reported in Windhoek were recorded at the prison facility.
“It is imperative that people secluded places like prisons, holding cells, hospitals, hostels, police camps and military barracks observe more precautionary measures, as the risk of fast transmission to a number of people is very high in these settings,” said Shangula.
The Walvis Bay correctional facility was also hit by Covid-19 when three officials there tested positive some months ago.
Approached for comment on possible decongestion measures, Commissioner General Raphael Hamunyela, who heads the Namibian Correctional Service, said there was little they could do to get the situation under control.
“If the country has no better measures to put in place, how do you expect us to have it?” Hamunyela questioned, adding that another officer tested positive for the virus in Windhoek, bringing the total number of confirmed cases at the correctional facility to 14.
Shangula, who announced 120 new positive cases in the country, said restriction measures imposed at the epicentre of Walvis Bay are starting to bear fruit as evident in the drastic drop in new cases.
Walvis Bay reported only eight new positive cases, while Swakopmund reported 18.
“Since 12 August 2020, we have been observing the downward trend in the number of cases from Erongo region, especially Walvis Bay, with cases declining from 97 to 26 today. 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 preventive measures for this dream to come true,” said Shangula.
“I know compatriots in Erongo, especially in the restricted areas of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis, have really endured a lot of hardship and a result of measures introduced to curb the transmission. These measures may just be bearing fruit.”
Shangula yesterday also said he is concerned about the rising cases at Gobabis in the Omaheke region.
Of the ten cases that tested positive yesterday, nine are from the same household.
“One case is that of an 84-year-old female from Aminuis, with no known contact to a confirmed case. She was tested on the 13th of August 2020, as she presented Covid-19 related symptoms. She has multiple co-morbidities and is currently admitted at the Gobabis hospital,” said Shangula, who yesterday also announced 28 recoveries, all from Khomas.
Meanwhile, the Covid-19 death toll continues to mount after 65-year-old man from Ongwediva succumbed to the virus.
“He was admitted and tested on the 4th of August 2020 at a local private hospital, as he presented symptoms consistent with Covid-19. The result came out positive on the 15th August 2020. On the 15th August, his clinical condition deteriorated, and he passed away on the 16th August 2020.”
Shangula also announced that 14 cases are severely sick, while four are in critical state. The cumulative confirmed cases in the country stand at 4 464, 2 407 recoveries and 2 020 active cases.
A total of 42 945 samples have been tested so far, and the virus has claimed a total of 37 lives.