WALVIS BAY - Walvis Bay residents say Covid-19 is out of control and that it is high time government dispatch health experts to the coastal town to help deal with the situation before more deaths are recorded.
This clarion call was made after Namibia recorded its first death of a 45-year-old man who died on Wednesday at the Walvis Bay State hospital due to Covid-19.
Health minister Kalumbi Shangula on Friday said the man had schizophrenia, but was doing well on treatment and no recent episodes of psychosis.
“The patient was admitted with a diagnosis of pneumonia to rule out corona and was admitted to the transition ward and received treatment,” Shangula revealed on Friday.
He added that the man’s condition deteriorated on 6 July when he complained of respiratory ailment and worsened before he died on the same day.
His results came back positive for Covid-19 on Friday. His death has caused panic among coastal residents of whom some tested positive for the respiratory virus but are yet to be placed in quarantine.
Several residents who tested positive for Covid-19 contacted New Era last week expressing fear that they might pass on the virus to their families as they are still at home.
“I tested positive on Monday, but I am still at home and we live seven at home. I am still waiting on the health ministry to take me to an isolation facility. What if I further spread Covid unknowingly to my family,” a worried Kuisebmond resident told New Era last week on Wednesday. Chief medical officer of Erongo, Dr Amir Shaker on Friday while responding to the issue said every case is treated on merit as the circumstances are different in all cases.
“We are trying by all means to accommodate everyone and are in the process of securing more space for both isolation and quarantine,” Shaker said.
Family of deceased speaks out
Simon Haufiku, a family member of the first Covid death yesterday said that they understand what has happened to their son and fully support the State in the decision taken that he should be buried by the government. “We just want him to have a dignified funeral although no one apart from his three close relatives that are currently at Walvis Bay will be allowed to attend his funeral,” he told New Era yesterday.
He also expressed his disappointment against the tenants that took the matter in their own hands and spoke on the matter without consulting the family.
“No one should speak on our behalf and we should be left alone to mourn our brother in peace. We will also take drastic measures against anyone that goes against the government when it comes to my brother’s issue,” Haufiku told New Era yesterday.
Despite known challenges between private doctors and the public health sector, private doctors reached out saying that they are willing to help the government with Covid-19 cases. Dolphin Medical Centre’s Dr Norman Kufonya yesterday said he is willing to rally support and help the State front-liners in any way he could to contain Covid-19.
Kufonya who operates from Walvis Bay said that he has been swabbing private patients already and will not hesitate to assist the State in this regard.
Governor of Erongo, Neville Andre also said that they have met with private doctors in the region and are currently consulting with the health ministry to work out modalities for their respective engagements during Covid-19. Meanwhile, Namibia recorded 72 new cases yesterday, of which 69 are from Erongo, that brings the total number of positive cases to 785. At least 700 are from the Erongo region.
Namibia currently has about 759 people in quarantine with 26 recoveries.
To date, according to Shangula, 13 999 samples were sent for Covid-19 testing.