Hospitalisation numbers on the rise

Otis Daniels_Finck
Windhoek • [email protected]

Namibia’s Covid-19 cases have quadrupled over the past few days, but most worrying is a spike in hospitalisations.

By Saturday, 18 December, the number of patients admitted to hospital stood at 200, of whom 16 were in intensive care units.

Nine of these hospitalised patients had received one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while 23 were fully vaccinated. All 14 patients in ICU were unvaccinated.

In total, Namibia had reported a record high of 1 263 new cases over the weekend, ranging from a one-month-old baby to an octogenarian.

Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula expressed grave concern about the behaviour of Namibians and the rate at which cases are increasing daily. This despite health regulations and measures implemented to curb the spread of the virus. “Even one case is a matter of concern. The cases are picking up and it shows that there is a laxity amongst people when it comes to public health measures. The biggest concern is that we now have a big number in ICU and they are all unvaccinated and that is a matter of grave concern. We have a new variant, Omicron, which is spreading very fast and it really calls for people to get vaccinated,” he said.

Be responsible

Shangula added that government was not considering new a lockdown or curfew because people can no longer be policed and must take responsibility of their own health. “Until when are we going to force people to take care of themselves? We have gone through different waves and we have seen how sick people got and how people were dying, but government cannot put limitations forever. People must realise they must take individual precautions and this is the time,” he said.

The minister is, however, optimistic that existing health facilities will not be overwhelmed, thanks to those who have already been vaccinated.

While many vaccinated people have tested positive for Covid-19, they are at home with no or mild symptoms only, he said.