Staff Writer

On Wednesday 13 January Health Minister, Dr Kalumbi Shangula will provide a COVID-19 public briefing on new or extended measures to contain the virus.

The briefing comes as the country continues to record rising rates of infection, with 573 new cases recorded on Tuesday, bringing the country cumulative total to 27,255. President Hage Geingob has previously warned that he could reinstitute another State of Emergence if the current measures are not followed and COVID-19 cases continue to rise.

According to the Ministry of Health figures, Windhoek (Khomas region) remains the epicentre of the second wave of the pandemic with 240 new cases, followed by the Erongo region with 133.

This also comes as the Ministry on Tuesday announced two more health workers’ deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the country total to six.

“Among the confirmed cases are fourteen (14) health care workers from various districts. From the education sector, we have recorded fourteen (14) learners and five (5) teachers from different schools. Eighteen students from different institutions of higher learning have also tested positive for COVID-19 and included in the overall total. Also included among the positive cases are eight (8) inmates, from Eenhana holding cells and ten (10) employees from the mining industry,” Shangula said.

The health minister said 32 patients are in intensive care units (ICUs) with the Khomas cases making up 36 percent of the hospitalized confirmed cases.

“The total number of active cases currently stands at 3,664. Of those, 297 remain hospitalized. This is an increase of 8.8 percent compared to the hospitalized cases reported Monday,” he said.

In his previous address regarding pandemic regulations, Shangula limited public gatherings to 50 people per event, while a register of attendance was to be kept with visitors expected to sanitise and observe social distancing.

Sale of alcohol for on sight consumption at shebeens, bars and restaurants will still be allowed from 09h00 to 20h00. No alcohol will to be sold on Sundays or public holidays according to the normal law in Namibia.

Wearing of face masks remains compulsory, including in vehicles, while all businesses, including informal markets, were to ensure all patrons sanitise their hands prior to doing business.