Namibia: COVID-19 Cases Go Up to 24

NAMIBIA has recorded another Covid-19 case, bringing the total number for the country to 24.

This was announced by health minister Kalumbi Shangula who said yesterday the country now has 10 active cases with 14 recoveries and has tested 3 680 people.

The latest case is of a 51-year-old man who arrived in Namibia on 5 May on a cargo vessel where case 22 originated from.

He is one of an eight-member crew comprising four Namibians and four foreigners.

Shangula said the crew left Namibia on 25 April to deliver salt and fish products to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"The vessel arrived in DRC on 30 April and it is reported that all crew members did not disembark from the vessel. However, Congolese nationals entered the vessel," he said.

The minister said after case 22 tested positive, all crew members on the vessel were listed as contacts, and specimens were collected from them for testing. The samples were sent to the Namibian Institute of Pathology in Windhoek for testing and only case 24 tested positive while the rest of the crew members were negative.

"Our testing protocol states that all contacts of confirmed cases should be tested immediately once they are put in quarantine and again towards the end of their quarantine period. Therefore, these crew members will be tested again," he said.

Shangula said the latest case does not show any symptoms of the virus, and he is in an isolation unit at Walvis Bay District Hospital.

The minister added that case number 22 who was admitted in the ICU at Walvis Bay hospital is still on the ventilator but in a stable condition.

Meanwhile, Shangula said on Saturday, a 20-year-old female went to Groot Aub Clinic with respiratory distress and an ambulance was called to take her to a hospital in Windhoek. Unfortunately, she died on the way to the hospital.

"The patient was suspected to have died of Covid-19. A specimen from the deceased was tested for Covid-19 and the result came back negative," he said.

The minister said as the country moves to stage three of the exit plan at midnight today, they have prepared directives that will assist both the organisers of public events and law enforcement agencies with public gatherings. The directives will be published soon.

All 14 regions of the country will on Monday migrate to stage three of the lockdown exit strategy for the next 28 days - except for Walvis Bay, which is back to stage 1 until 8 June.

The complete lockdown of Walvis Bay was implemented following the detection of two concurrent Covid-19 cases at the town.

Stage 1 regulations include the closure of schools and higher education institutions, the prohibition of public gatherings of more than 10 people, the banning of travelling without a permit as well as the sale of alcohol, and the restriction of movement.

Only critical service providers will be allowed to operate.

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