Namibia: Covid-19 Case Sneaks Out of Walvis Bay

THE 29-year old man who tested positive for Covid-19 at Outapi on Monday allegedly sneaked out of Walvis Bay to avoid police roadblocks.

He then reportedly hitch-hiked from the Erongo region to Okahandja where he boarded a minibus to the north on the same day

According to the authorities, he went on a drinking spree with friends at local shebeens when he reached Outapi on 13 July.

"Because he was scared to go home, he then booked himself into some lodge at Outapi. When his brother learned that he sneaked out of Walvis Bay, he tried to convince him to report himself to the authorities, but he refused. His brother then informed the police and the health directorate. He was later intercepted and taken to the police station where he was interrogated and subsequently placed under quarantine. A swab test was done and his result was positive," an anonymous source claims.

On Monday, the minister of health and social services, Kalumbi Shangula, during his update on Covid-19 said the man reported himself to the authorities and was later placed in quarantine, a move he encouraged all people travelling from the Erongo region to practise.

Some residents at Outapi however are accusing the minister of providing false and misleading information on the patient.

"The minister should stop lying to the nation. That gentleman never reported himself to the authorities. He was interrogated by the police until he later told them the truth. How many people did he come in contact with during his outing with friends on that day? He may have infected a lot of people, who knows?" a concerned resident said.

Omusati health director Alfons Amoomo confirmed the report saying his team is trying to trace all possible contacts of the patient.

"It's true. He apparently sneaked out of Walvis Bay. His brother informed my office and we later informed the police. He was arrested and taken in for questioning before he was placed under quarantine. We are still busy with contact tracing," he said.

Amoomo urged residents of the Omusati region to wear masks at all times and adhere to the safety protocols.

This is the first Covid-19 related case reported in the region.

Meanwhile, the country yesterday reported three new Covid-19 related deaths, all from Walvis Bay.

This was announced by minister Shangula.

This brings Namibia's total Covid-19 death toll to seven.

"One patient was admitted at Walvis Bay hospital and two were admitted at Welwitschia Private Hospital. They were tested and confirmed to be Covid-19 positive. Our sincere condolences to the bereaved families. We wish them strength in order to cope with the burden of grief," the minister said.

The Namibian understands that one of the deceased was employed at the Municipality of Walvis Bay and was part of the Constituency Disaster Risk Management Committee. His positive result led to the Walvis Bay municpality head quarters being temporarily closed for disinfection. Another one of the deceased was allegedly employed at a local seafood fishing vessel at the town.

Shangula yesterday announced that the country recorded seven new recoveries, bringing the total recoveries to 57. The country's total Covid-19 confirmed cases stand at 1 366, with 1 302 active cases.

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