RUNDU – Kavango East residents have been encouraged to get vaccinated, as only 1% of the region’s population have been inoculated against Covid-19 so far.
Kavango East health director Timeya Ngwira said cases are increasing rapidly and things could get worse; hence, people need to get the vaccine. By 30 June, only 1 895 residents of the region have been fully vaccinated with the two doses required by the available vaccines.
The director said the region still has some Sinopharm as well as AstraZeneca doses available at some districts outside Rundu but expressed frustration as the vials get spoiled because only a few people show up at vaccine centres per day, while the container holds 10 doses. Once it is opened, it has to be discarded if not used within six hours.
“That is what has finished the doses – not that they were used,” she said.
Ngwira on Wednesday, during a donation handover of two oxygen machines, donated by OK Foods and Build It Rundu, worth N$60 000, also warned residents against attending gatherings, such as church services and funerals.
“Things could get out of hand if infections don’t slow down. The infections are within our community and it’s not coming from outside, so we need to refrain from gatherings,” Ngwira said.
“These machines are critical in saving patients; they are good machines because you will not run out of oxygen – you can only run out of oxygen, when there’s no electric power and this is coming at a time when we need oxygen,” she noted.
The health director during the event noted that Kavango East region is currently in need of 38 oxygen cylinders per day to support Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients.
Since August last year, when the first Covid-19 death was reported, to date, there has been 40 deaths reported. Currently, the are about 43 Covid-19 patients hospitalised, while about 184 are being managed from selected government isolation facilities or home.
“As far as [the] Covid-19 infection is concerned, it is increasing rapidly; we received the results of this morning about 240 and it is worrisome; it is a very serious concern,” said the Kavango East governor, Bonifatius Wakudumo, who was also at the donation event on Wednesday.
Wakudumo encouraged residents to adhere to Covid-19 regulations as well as to get vaccinated, as the statistics of infections are overwhelming.
“Covid-19 has affected all of us; this is why we decided to extend a helping hand to contribute to the needs of our region. We hope the Rundu State Hospital will put the machines to good use,” said OK Foods managing Jose Machado.