Kuzeeko Tjitemisa and
Despite the World Health Organisation (WHO) this week declaring coronavirus a global pandemic, health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula says securing the country’s borders will not stop the spread of the virus. Shangula said this in the National Assembly while responding to questions by Swanu parliamentarian Tangeni Iijambo yesterday. “There are no compelling reasons to do so [closing borders].
From epidemiological and public health perspective, such actions are not justified. We are following the trend and any action on our part should be guided by science and the situation on the ground. But our strategic objective is to prevent importing the virus in Namibia,” Shangula said in response. Some parliamentarians also wanted next week’s 30th Independence Day celebrations cancelled. However, Shangula said there was no reason to do so. Meanwhile, education ministry executive director Sanet Steenkamp told New Era yesterday that the country’s health authorities are guiding them as far as coronavirus is concerned. She said they have been working closely with the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) since the virus outbreak.
Subsequently, she said, the ministry has placed emphasis on hygiene management and having water and soap available for children, especially in areas where the water is accessible. “It will be the same we as a ministry will not deviate from the stand messages from the World Health Organisation which is already prescribed by the ministry of health but to re-enforce and strengthen it,” said Steenkamp. Coronavirus has now spread to 114 countries with more than 118 000 confirmed cases and 4 291 deaths reported as at late yesterday. The Mpumalanga and Free State provinces in South Africa also confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus as the tally in that country rose to 17. Until yesterday, there were 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus confined in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape. There are now more than 100 cases recorded in 11 countries in Africa, according to the WHO. Egypt remains the nation with the most reported cases with 59, more than half of all confirmed cases on the continent. Most of the cases in Egypt are among passengers and crewmembers aboard a Nile cruise ship coming from southern city of Aswan to Luxor, Egypt state-run Ahram Online reported. Algeria, Morocco and Egypt have all reported a single death, with one patient in South Africa reported in a critical condition, according to online reports.
2020-03-13 09:43:02 | 3 months ago