Otjozondjupa regional leadership has been conducting weekly assessment and preparedness meetings as new Covid-19 infections continue to rise sharply.
Otjozondjupa governor James Uerikua has appealed to all stakeholders to adopt an emergency mode pursuant to the current Covid-19 strain affecting the country.
“We need to be prepared and never let our guards down. Let us not become complacent but rather reaffirm our commitments of ensuring that we respond to the Covid-19 impact holistically as a region and with a sense of urgency under the core principles of good governance,” Uerikua said.
He noted the regional leadership has identified Covid-19 critical areas of focus in an attempt to suppress the spread of the deadly virus.
This includes Covid-19 case management, oxygen supply, mortuaries, beds availability, transportation needs and vaccination rollout.
Uerikua and his team visited and assessed Otjiwarongo, Okakarara, Otavi and Grootfontein health centres to monitor the situation on the ground in terms of the preparedness regarding medical oxygen supply, case management, isolation and beds availability.
“Mortuaries across the region are full and a division has been made to ensure that Covid and non-Covid corpses don’t mix up. We also noted breakages and maintenance on an urgent basis has been commissioned by the ministry of health under the Ministry of Works and Transport supervision to bring them all to functional level. Plans are underway for a cooler container to be sourced from the central government for the region to be used as an additional temporary mortuary,” Uerikua said.
Over 5 600 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the region, including 184 healthcare workers.
In terms of deaths, a total number of 153 have died, and one of them was a health care worker.
The region has 525 active cases and 4 953 recoveries as of Sunday this week.
According to the governor, constant and sufficient oxygen supply to patients is crucial at this point.
Following the assessment at various district hospitals by the leadership, he said they noted a serve strain or pressure exerted on the oxygen supply due to increase demand, resulting in shortages at some health facilities.
“The district hospitals across the region have oxygen-producing plants but the supply is meant for normal situations – but due to increase in demand, it has become a challenge too. Following constant engagement with the central government and the ministry of health, it is safe to say we are making positive progress towards ensuring oxygen availability by increasing cylinder supply and refilling plus using the Osona Military base small oxygen plant to assist,” he stated.
The governor also noted that more residents are no longer vaccine-hesitant.
“The process is ongoing, and the response is improving. There is a need for more information dissemination campaigns to ensure correct information availability for informed and prompt decision in terms of vaccination taking place,” he said.
“In the final analysis, vaccination is the only solution that will take us through this situation, and we are calling upon everyone to go out there and get vaccinated. Let us get vaccinated and let’s stop spreading fake or unconfirmed information against vaccines, as such reckless behaviour is putting Namibian lives at risk and straining the health system.”