A 19-year-old Namibian man who arrived in the country on 18 March tested positive for Covid-19, health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula confirmed late yesterday. "Specimens were taken and sent to a laboratory, and the results returned positive. He is currently in isolation and in a stable condition," Shangula told journalists at a hastily arranged media briefing.
The latest case is the fourth to be confirmed in the country after a Romanian couple who had arrived in the country earlier this month tested positive.
A German national who had also arrived in Namibia from Amsterdam via Zimbabwe also tested positive. Shangula said the Romanian couple who initially tested positive recovered of the virus.
"The two Romanians have recovered, we are busy making arrangements for their return to their country Romania," Shangula told New Era on the sidelines of the swearing-in of new members of Cabinet at State House yesterday.
"There are still no known cases of local transmission in Namibia, and no Covid-19 deaths," Shangula had said last week.
The minister also clarified that none of the 35 Namibians who returned to the country on Saturday from The Netherlands were displaying any symptoms of the deadly virus.
The 35 are currently under supervised quarantine at the Greiters conference centre on the outskirts of Windhoek.
"Family members of these individuals as well as members of the public are strongly discouraged from visiting the facility during this period. Arrangements are in place to facilitate delivery of essential items, such as food," he said.
Apart from declaring a state of emergency, the government has put in place strict measures to curb the further spread of coronavirus, including suspending the issuance of visas to foreign nationals from coronavirus high-risk countries such as Schengen states, China, Iran, South Korea, United Kingdom, United States of America and Japan.
Treasury has allocated N$124 million to help contain the virus, which has so far claimed 15 408 lives globally, with over 220 000 confirmed cases.
Government last weekend imposed several measures, including closing all private and public schools until 14 April, while mass gatherings were discouraged. International flights to and from Ethiopia, Germany and Qatar were also banned for 30 days.
Meanwhile, South African health authorities yesterday confirmed 402 cases, signifying an increase of 128 new infections compared to Sunday.