Covid patient fights for his life

27 May 2020 | Health

Walvis Bay

Another Namibian national has tested positive for Covid-19.

The patient is currently in a critical condition and attached to a ventilator at a local private hospital.

Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula announced earlier today that Case No 22 is travel-related and involves a Namibian male (63) who arrived here on 5 May 2020 via sea on board a vessel.

Shangula added that Case No 22 is known to have underlying medical conditions.

“On 7 May 2020 the patient began complaining of shoulder pain. He was seen by his general practitioner who motivated the Erongo Regional Team for his immediate release from the vessel. The patient was subsequently released from the vessel on 8 May and went straight home to self-quarantine. He was not seen by a doctor or swabbed. The rest of the crew remained on the vessel.”

According to Shangula, the patient called his general practitioner on 14 May for a prescription and then went to collect the medicine at a pharmacy.

“The patient again went to see his general practitioner complaining of chronic pain on 19 May. No fever or respiratory symptoms were reported at this point. The doctor examined him, provided medication to him and sent the patient home.”

The patient visited a local private hospital on 22 May and was admitted to the general ward.

“He developed difficulty in breathing, was intubated and rushed to the ICU on 24 May. It was then that a differential diagnosis of Covid-19 was entertained and a Rapid Antibody Test was done. The result came back positive. The patient was put in isolation in the ICU at the hospital. A specimen was taken for Covid-19 testing and this result came back positive.”

Subsequently, all contacts in the hospital were identified and tested for Covid-19.

“They have been removed to the isolation facility for further monitoring. Possible contacts are also being identified outside the hospital,” said Shangula.

The patient was one of eight crew members (four non-Namibians and four Namibians) on a fishing vessel that departed from Walvis Bay on 25 April to deliver salt and fish products to the DRC. The vessel arrived in the DRC on 30 April. The patient did not disembarked from the vessel in the DRC, however Congolese nationals boarded while it was moored there. The vessel returned to Walvis Bay on 5 May.

Closed borders

The minister emphasised that Namibia’s borders remain closed.

“Namibian citizens, permanent residents and those domiciled in Namibia are allowed to come to Namibia. Upon arrival, they are subjected to mandatory supervised quarantine in quarantine facilities accredited by the ministry. No other quarantine facilities are acceptable. Operators are not allowed to quarantine their truck drivers at truck ports, but must surrender them to the ministry.”

Stats
Confirmed cases: 22
Recoveries: 14
Active cases: 8
Deaths: 0
Tests: 3 201
Total contacts: 265
Quarantine total: 1 717
Discharged: 179
Persons in quarantine: 538.

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