WINDHOEK - Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said yesterday his ministry is on alert and monitoring the deadly coronavirus that has led to the death of at least 80 people.
Shangula was, however, quick to add that no active surveillance to identify any potential imported cases was being conducted at national entry points such as the Hosea Kutako International Airport.
Shangula maintained there was no immediate threat that would require the health authorities to implement temperature testing and other screening procedures.
“I don’t know why people are interested in screening at the airport. This is what people are asking and there is basically no need at the time to screen passengers at the airport. There is no indication at the moment that there is a need to put a screen at the airport,” said the minister. “But when the right time comes – when according to our surveillance and monitoring, and when it becomes necessary – we will institute it. It might be today, tomorrow or in the cause of the week, but we are ready for it.”
As at late yesterday, the death toll from the Wuhan coronavirus stood at 80 – 23 more than the previous day, with almost 2 800 cases confirmed across China.
At least 40 Namibian students are trapped in Wuhan after the Chinese city was locked down, in order to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Namibian student leader in China Junias Haufiku earlier told New Era that the situation on the ground was tense, and they have been advised to stay indoors.
“We are running out of food; most of the markets are closed. All of the Namibian students are in good health,” he said.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has explained that coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
A novel coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. The spread of this outbreak is mainly human-to-human – from an infected person to others through respiratory secretions.
The 2019 new coronavirus outbreak has been linked to a local market selling chicken, cats, marmots and other wild animals, as well as seafood that has been closed since 1 January 2020 for cleaning and disinfection.
The virus has spread to other countries as well, including Japan, Thailand, Korea, Singapore, Philippines, USA, Australia and Mexico.
2020-01-28 07:15:42 | 5 months ago