Former health minister Dr Richard Kamwi said although it was too early to declare the Covid-19 situation in the country under control, Namibia has done relatively well to contain the spread of the virus.
With only 16 confirmed cases and 11 recoveries, Namibia became the first country to go for over 35 days without reporting new Covid-19 cases. The country last reported a confirmed case on 5 April. Speaking to New Era recently, Kamwi said the quick government response, as well as President Hage Geingob’s declaration of a state of emergency that led to a subsequent national lockdown, played a role in containing the spread of the coronavirus. “A combination of all these strategies led to a realisation of a curve although it still remains fragile for reasons that Namibia is not an island,” Kamwi said.
“My advice is to consolidate what has just been achieved through adherence to messages from the health sector.” Covid-19 national taskforce coordinator Dr Bernard Haufiku also praised the coronavirus measures adopted by government. “I think it is a matter of being pro-active and maybe with a bit of luck. Pro-active in the sense that we closed our borders much earlier compared to many African countries,” Haufiku said.
He said Namibia successfully prevented community transmission of Covid-19 by reinforcement of public health and social measures such as social distancing, hand sanitisation and banning of public gatherings and later the total lockdown of the whole country.
“We seem to have practically broken the backbone of SARS-Cov-2 transmission in Namibia. This is commendable and one must thank the political leadership of the country and the national response team for a job well done,” said Haufiku. The former health minister acknowledged big decisions had to be made to balance the public health and economic impacts of Covid-19.
“At least we can do the best we can to try and rebuild the economy but we can never regain any life lost, should we had lost one. So prevention is always better than cure and it is perhaps worth the investment,” he said.
“Let us remain focused on all preventive measures in place and continue to test more, especially people at risk and targeted populations for example truck drivers.”
2020-05-12 10:03:17 | 26 days ago