WALVIS BAY – Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula has pleaded with Namibians to take the Covid-19 pandemic seriously, as cumulative confirmed cases in the country nearly hit 2 000. According to Shangula, some Namibians are behaving as if the pandemic is no longer here, despite the country reporting 1 917 cases and eight deaths due to the virulent virus.
“This [is] dangerous and a false sense of security that will further put our country at greater risk. The fact is, the virus is still here and it is continuing to spread; [it] should not be ignored,” Shangula warned yesterday.
Shangula added other towns should take note of how the virus spread in Walvis Bay, which is regarded the epicentre of the country. “The risk is real in other parts of the country as well. Government has thought long and hard about the socio-economic impact of the pandemic on our society. We have fully considered the imperative of protecting – not only lives but also the livelihoods of our people. It is for this reason that a staged approach was adopted to bring in flexibilities in the restrictions under the state of emergency,” said Shangula.
According to the minister, it is against this background that more care and vigilance are called for by the government, particularly for those parts of the country that have migrated to stage four.
He said the country has seen a rise in new cases, especially in the Khomas region. “Many of these cases are not connected to other known cases, and they are individuals who have not travelled. This means that people are becoming infected in their localities during their everyday activities. It is time for all Namibians to change our behaviours and do everything we can to reduce our risk, “ Shangula appealed. He added that people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure are most vulnerable; hence, those who are around should be extremely careful.
“Those of us who are more vulnerable and those of us who care for vulnerable loved ones should be especially careful. People older than 65 years and people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure are much more likely to get very sick or even to die from this virus,” Shangula further warned.
“Avoid large gatherings, leave your house only when necessary and avoid travelling unless it is for urgent medical reasons. Wash your hands and sanitise, and wear a mask at all times in public.”
Meanwhile, Namibia recorded 74 new cases, of which 56 are from Walvis Bay and three from Swakopmund. Lüderitz and Windhoek recorded four cases each, while Rundu and Oshakati reported two cases each. Okahandja and Onandjokwe recorded one case each. Three recoveries were also reported at Walvis Bay. The active cases in the country are 1 805 after 104 recoveries. There are 1 387 in quarantine facilities, while 24 325 samples have been tested.