Kandjemuni Kamuiiri

Namibia’s COVID-19 death toll continues to grow at an exponential rate, with the country recording up to 125 deaths in one month.

Since the outbreak of the virus, the country’s COVID-19 deaths are close to breaching the 600 mark, with a total of 599 deaths recorded to date, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS).“The Health Ministry has announced three new deaths in Windhoek district,” Minister of Health and Social Services, Kalumbi Shangula said.

According to Shangula, 145 new Covid-19 cases have been confirmed from the 1253 results received from the laboratories in the last 24 hours, which represented a 12 percent positive ratio. The gender distribution of the reported cases is 58 males and 87 females. The age range is from five months to 71 years. Among the confirmed cases, are 21 learners and eight students from different schools. Four teachers and five healthcare workers also tested positive for COVID-19.

“The total number of active cases currently stands at 1328. 130 are hospitalized, of which 27 are in ICU,” Shangula said. President Hage Geingob on Thursday during his State of the Nation Address also raised concern about the country’s rising death tall due to COVID-19. “Life and work have been upended and thrown into a state of flux, with many families plunged into financial vulnerability and distress, and many more left at a loss, grieving the sudden departure of loved ones. To this end, our collective actions to reduce the threat of COVID-19 have staved off a health crisis in our country, enabling us to avoid a Third Wave as we have witnessed in other parts of the world. Regrettably, our nation has lost 592 Namibian lives due to COVID-related complications,” he said.

Yesterday, 406 COVID-19 vaccines were administered of which 267 were in Khomas and 139 in Erongo Region. “We are announcing to the general public that as of Monday, 19 April, 2021, the vaccination campaign will be expanded to cover all regions,” said Shangula.

The increase in cases comes as the AstraZeneca vaccine, which Namibia has been expecting for over three months through the COVAX facility, finally arrived on Friday, although the vaccine has been found to be ineffective on the new strain of COVID-19.