Because Covid-19 symptoms are similar to that of flu, many believe it spreads faster or is prominent during winter.
However, health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said it is a myth that Covid-19 goes away during the hot season as past events have proven that the pandemic is not a seasonal one.
“Namibia experienced three Covid-19 waves so far. The first wave peaked at 316 new infections in a single day on 13 August 2020. Namibia was already experiencing high daily temperatures at that time. The second wave of Covid-19 peaked on 13 December 2020 when we registered 683 new cases. That time, Namibia experienced high daily temperatures and it was very hot,” said Shangula.
“During the third wave, Namibia registered the record high numbers of new Covid-19 infections of 2 547 cases in a single day on the 24 June 2021. This was towards the end of winter in the country. It follows therefore that Covid-19 transmission takes place anytime, under any weather condition. The intensity of transmission is driven by human behaviour, by human interaction,” continued Shangula.
He shared this information at the unveiling of the Treeside Medical Centre in the capital yesterday.
He said the healthcare system went through the most challenging time of caring for those who are afflicted by Covid-19.
“They did a great job. Let us reward them during this festive season with good rest free of Covid-19 patients,” he pleaded.
Namibia recently relaxed most of the restrictive measures in view of the current favourable epidemiological profile in order to give members of the public breathing space to mimic a normal life and to give the battered economy a chance to recover.
“It does not mean that Covid-19 has gone away. The responsibility for the prevention of infection has shifted to a great extent from government to individuals, families and communities,” informed Shangula.
Despite the unknown trajectory Covid-19 could take in future, Shangula said there are ongoing efforts to strengthen Namibia’s health sector through both public and private sector investments. He said: “Government commits and allocates significant resources to the health sector every year. About 15% of the national budget is allocated to health annually. In this context, Namibia is among a few countries in Africa to have met the Abuja Declaration target which enjoins the AU member states to allocate not less than 15% of their annual appropriation to health. The aim is to ensure that citizens have access to quality healthcare in order to improve the people’s quality of life.”
He reiterated and called on the public, especially now with the festive season fast approaching to get vaccinated, to those who haven’t been inoculated already, to avoid large gatherings.
Shangula said: “They are enablers for easy and speedy transmission of infection. Don’t forget to wash and sanitise your hands regularly. Wear your facemask every time you are in a public space.” - firstname.lastname@example.org