By Staff Reporter
WINDHOEK, MAY 23 — Namibia’s President Hage Geingob has voiced his worry about the recent surge in Covid-19 cases, emphasizing the potential impact on the country’s ongoing economic recovery. The president made these remarks during a farewell meeting with Nicholas Bruhl, the head of mission from Switzerland, who had completed his diplomatic assignment in Namibia. Geingob’s concerns stem from the rising number of infections, which he believes may be influenced by the cold weather.
Growing Concerns amidst Economic Recovery: President Geingob expressed his apprehension, citing the adverse implications of increasing Covid-19 cases on the nation’s economy. Although the country has been making progress in recovering from the devastating effects of the pandemic, the recent upsurge raises concerns about the potential setbacks it could bring.
Health Minister’s Update: Health and social services minister Kalumbi Shangula presented the latest statistics, revealing that Namibia recorded 34 new Covid-19 cases, including six reinfections and 33 recoveries. Minister Shangula emphasized the importance of public awareness, cautioning that the number of cases had spiked by 94% compared to the previous week. The update highlighted the range of affected individuals, from five months to 81 years old, including two healthcare workers and a student.
Vaccination Efforts: Namibia has been actively administering Covid-19 vaccines to combat the spread of the virus. As of 7 May 2023, a total of 557,186 people aged 18 years and older had received at least one dose of the vaccine, representing 37.8% of the target population. Furthermore, 493,835 adults, accounting for 33.5% of the target population, had completed their vaccination with either two doses of other vaccine types or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Additionally, a small number of individuals received doses of the Sputnik V vaccine.
Remaining Vigilant and Focused: Minister Shangula emphasized the need for heightened vigilance, particularly in the Khomas region. While only two individuals required hospitalization among the confirmed cases, the situation necessitates continued efforts to prevent further transmission. Namibia had previously lifted all Covid-19-related restrictions in July 2022, after a two-year battle against the pandemic that claimed over 4,060 lives.
Reclassification of Covid-19 by WHO: On 5 May 2023, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that Covid-19 would no longer be categorized as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). This reclassification indicates that the emergency situation is no longer deemed a global threat beyond national borders. Namibia declared a state of emergency in March 2020 to combat the Covid-19 outbreak.
Conclusion: Namibia’s President Geingob’s concerns over the rising number of Covid-19 cases highlight the delicate balance between economic recovery and public health. As the country strives to regain stability, vigilance, public awareness, and continued vaccination efforts remain crucial in mitigating the impact of the virus and protecting the well-being of Namibians. – Namibia Daily News