Andrew Kathindi

Health and Social Services (MoHS) minister, Kalumbi Shangula, has downplayed the probability of a third wave of COVID-19 hitting Namibia anytime soon.

This comes after South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, on Sunday warned that the, “threat of a third wave is constantly present, as is the threat of yet more new variants”.

Shangula stated that he was not aware of Ramaphosa’s warning, but queried, “How can they talk about a third wave when they are relaxing all the control measures?”

South Africa on Sunday relaxed some of its regulations in the control of the spread of COVID-19.

The Minister stated that there were no talks or concerns about a third wave reaching Namibia. “We are following our own situation. We are guided by the daily numbers we are seeing.”

The Minister’s statement, however, comes less than four months after he dismissed fears of a second wave in the country, amid rising numbers of daily cases.

The second wave of COVID-19 was only confirmed in December as cases continued to skyrocket. A number of European countries, including England and Portugal, have been feeling the powerful effects of the third wave since the beginning of the year.

Center for Disease Control (CDC) Namibian Country Director, Dr Eric Dziuban ,however, cautioned of a third wave reaching Namibia.

“The chances of a third wave in Namibia remain very real. Much of it is up to those of us living here. If we continue to be serious about preventing new infections, then we can keep the third wave away. We know exactly how to do this.”

He warned that if Namibians relax too much and act as though the virus is already gone, then it will surge back and lead us right into another deadly wave.

“By continuing to follow regulations, wear our masks, and socially distance, we can get the virus under control and allow our schools and businesses to stay open.”

Namibia’s COVID-19 death toll has continued to climb at an alarming rate. The country recorded over 100 deaths related to COVID-19 in about 30 days between 21 January and 22 February, the highest number over a similar period since the virus was confirmed in the country last March.

Shangula, today (Monday) , reported a further four deaths. The Minister also announced 188 new cases. Namibia thus far has 39 033 cumulative confirmed cases and 428 total deaths.