WALVIS BAY - Several Walvis Bay residents have been ordered to self-quarantine after a new case of coronavirus was recorded at the town, bringing the total of active Covid-19 cases in the Erongo region to two.
Among those in self-quarantine includes a local doctor and his family who had been in contact with the 63-year-old man who tested positive for Covid-19 following a recent trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo to deliver salt and fish products.
The patient, who is known to have underlying medical conditions, according to health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula, is in a critical state and admitted in the intensive care unit of the Walvis Bay state hospital. Some of the people he has been in contact with tested negative, according to Shangula.
According to Shangula, the man was part of an eight-member fishing vessel crew that left Namibian shores on 25 April to deliver salt and fish products to the DRC where they arrived on 30 April. “He did not disembark the vessel in DRC, however Congolese nationals entered the vessel,” Shangula explained. He said the crewmember on 7 May 2020 complained of a shoulder pain and his doctor requested that he be released from the vessel.
He apparently went straight home to self-quarantine, while the rest of the crew remained on the vessel until today. He also called his doctor for a prescription and collected his medicine from the doctor.
However, he went to see his doctor on 19 May for chronic pain and was examined and sent home again. According to Shangula, at this stage, he had no fever or respiratory symptoms. However, on 22 May 2020, he had trouble in breathing and was admitted at the private hospital.
“On Sunday, he was intubated and rushed to the intensive care unit. It was then that a differential diagnosis of Covid-19 was entertained, and a rapid antibody test was done which tested positive. The patient is currently in critical condition on a ventilator and his condition has not changed since admission into ICU,” Shangula said.
He added that all his contacts in the hospital were identified and tested for Covid-19 and their results are negative.
However, they have been removed to an isolation facility for further monitoring. Efforts are currently underway to trace his contacts outside the hospital. Erongo governor Neville Andre yesterday indicated Covid-19 cases are currently being treated at the old TB ward of the Walvis Bay state hospital.
The facility also serves as the first phase of the isolation facility. As at yesterday, confirmed cases in the country are 22, including 14 recoveries and eight active cases. So far, 3 201 people have been tested, while a total of 538 people are in mandatory quarantine facilities countrywide.