New infections decreasing

Positive outcomes

09 September 2020 | Health

Dr Kalumbi Shangula; Minister of health; “The battle has not yet been won...”

The minister of health and social services Dr Kalumbi Shangula presented an update on the preparedness and response plan of the country to the Covid-19 pandemic to the National Assembly.

Shangula said that the plan was based on nine strategic pillars, namely: country-level coordination, planning, and monitoring; risk communication and community engagement; surveillance, rapid-response teams and case investigation; points of entry; national laboratories; infection prevention and control; case management; operations support and logistics; as well as psycho-social support.

The plan was prepared with consultations and inputs from all regional offices and stakeholders, for a period of six months.

“The initial estimated budget for Covid-19 was N$1 billion. However, this amount was revised downward to N$727 million, the actual amount which was allocated for the response,” said the minister.

The minister said that the funds allocated initially, were revised as the epidemiological situation evolved.

“The actual year to date expenditure for each pillar is contained in the Accountability Report, prepared by the ministry, covering the period from 1 April to 24 August 2020. The report will be presented to Cabinet soon. At this point, the overall expenditure rate for the period under review currently stands at 78% and includes all year to date commitments.”

Shangula further explained that the testing capacity of the country has been increasing progressively with the collaboration of various laboratory service providers and agencies across the county.
Two other laboratories will also come on board soon.

The minister added that the measures and interventions implemented by government have to a large extent been effective in controlling and suppressing the spread of the disease.

“However, the pandemic has been able to spread to other parts of the country. This is, and must be a source of concern for all Namibians. I call for greater vigilance and personal responsibility of each and every Namibian to do our part to stop the spread of this disease. All Namibians must continue to comply with the measures put in place.”

The minister also said that although the measures that Namibia has taken are painful it was starting to show positive outcomes.

“We are now observing that the number of new infections are showing a downward trend. I must however point out that the battle has not yet been won and we must redouble our efforts to defeat Covid-19.”

The minister also called on Namibians to accept the fact that Covid-19 will be around for a long time and that they should adjust to the new normal.

“These are the realities of our times. The only way Namibia can suppress the spread of the disease is by following and complying with these measures without fail, at all times, and by everyone.”

The minister also elaborated on Namibia’s international cooperation with partners to combat the pandemic.

“The country recently bought and took delivery of a medicine called Remdesivir that was found to enhance early recovery from Covid-19. This medicine has become part of our arsenal in the treatment of Covid-19. Namibia has also signed up and is participating in the COVAX process, a collaboration under the auspices of WHO and GAVI for the development of vaccines in order to position ourselves favourably in accessing vaccines against Covid-19 when it becomes available.”

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