Staff Writer

Namibia has now surpassed the 300 mark for COVID-19 related deaths after five more people succumbed to the virus.

Health and Social Services (MOHSS) minister, Kalumbi Shangula, announced the latest figures on Wednesday. The five fatalities were recorded in Windhoek, Oshakati, Otjiwarongo and Walvis Bay, becoming the second highest number of deaths ever recorded in the country in a single day since the outbreak of COVID-19 last year.

The increase in fatalities, comes as positive cases continue to spike, with 258 new COVID-19 confirmed cases from 1 793 results received from the laboratories in the last 24 hours.

“The gender distribution of the reported cases is 136 females and 122 males. The age range is from four months to 92 years. Khomas and Oshana regions represent 24 percent and 18 percent of the confirmed cases respectively. Confirmed cases from Lüderitz district include eight from Oranjemund, two from Lüderitz and one from Roshpinah,” Shangula said.

Among the confirmed cases, the minister said eight are health care workers from various districts across the regions, and seven in-mates of which six are from Oshakati police holding cells, and one is from Lüderitz prison.

“The total number of active cases currently stands at 2 721. Two hundred and fifty-seven are hospitalised, of which 24 are in intensive care units (ICUs). Karas region’s hospitalized confirmed cases has doubled in the last 24 hrs,” he said.

The increase in cases comes as the Pfizer vaccine which Namibia is expecting through the COVAX Facility, is being awaited in the country around the end of the month.

The Namibian government has targeted health workers and the most vulnerable citizens, including the elderly and the sick to first receive the COVID-19 vaccine, expected in the country at the end of this month.

The government hopes to vaccinate about 20 percent of the population (around 508 200 people) with the COVAX facility vaccine, for which it has already paid an amount of N$29 272 320 and will need to pay an additional N$138 180 088.