Health

We are still not out of the woods: Shangula

Summary

Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Kalumbi Shangula said the failure of some individuals to comply with health measures put in place to suppress COVID-19 have put others at risk of contracting the virus.Speaking during the 26th COVID-19 respons…

Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Kalumbi Shangula said the failure of some individuals to comply with health measures put in place to suppress COVID-19 have put others at risk of contracting the virus.

Speaking during the 26th COVID-19 response update here on Wednesday, Shangula said failure to comply with public health measures has led Namibia into a situation where the epidemiological curve has not assumed a downward trajectory to levels where it can be said that Namibia is out of the woods as far as COVID-19 infections, related illnesses and deaths are concerned.

“We are still far from sustainably flattening the curve. This must be a great concern for all of us. It is thus incumbent upon all of us to do our part and to ensure that, together, we defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and return our country to normalcy,” he said.

The minister said at present, new infections remain high as infections are being reported on a daily basis from all regions around the country.

“The Basic Reproductive Ratio or the rate at which a single infection multiplies or gives rise to other new infections, stands at 1.23 for the week from 22 to 28 March 2021 and for the week of 15 to 28 March the ratio stood at 1.43. Ideally, this ratio should be less than 1,” he said.

He said that if the basic reproduction ratio is less than one it would signify that an infection is not breeding new infections, adding that a ratio which is more than one indicates that COVID-19 transmission in communities is continuing to spread and calls for greater vigilance and compliance from everyone.

Shangula went on to say Namibians studying abroad will be exempt from paying for COVID-19 tests upon entry or departure from Namibia, provided that they can present proof that they are Namibian citizens and proof that they are studying.

He said frequent travellers returning within three days following their departure from Namibia are allowed to re-enter the country using the negative SARS COV-2 PCR or Antigen Rapid Diagnostic Test (AgRDT) result they used on departure.

A returning frequent traveller who spends more than three days outside Namibia will however be required to present either an SARSCOV-2 PCR or AgRDT negative test result, without which such traveller will be subjected to quarantine.

Source: Namibia Press Agency