‘The disease does not move unless we do’ –Geingob

18 July 2021 | Government

Namibia recently crossed two significant milestones in the fight against the Covid 19 pandemic: The country exceeded the 100 000 cumulative case mark and recorded over 2 000 deaths due to Covid-19 and related illness.

“As of 14 July, a total of 108 785 Namibians at some point contracted and were infected with Covid-19 over the course of the past 16 months. Encouragingly, 75% have recovered, but 24 670 are still infected,” president Hage Geingob highlighted.

The president said that not withstanding the countrywide tightening of restrictions to suppress the spread of the disease, the rate of transmission and positivity ratio remains high, averaging 41% over the past 2 weeks.

“This situation, left unabated, can become unmanageable. We must therefore protect our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed, by reducing the rate of transmission.”

Protect yourself

The president reminded Namibians that they can protect their own lives and the healthcare system, by maintaining social distancing, wearing face masks and washing and sanitizing our hands regularly.

“The disease does not move unless we do, which increases our risk of walking into it. We should therefore avoid unnecessary movement and stay at home,” the resident emphasised.

Get vaccinated

The president also pointed out that vaccination remains an important and effective tool in limiting the chances of severe illness, hospitalization and death.

“As we strive towards inoculating 1.5 million resident to reach herd immunity, I call upon all Namibians who are eligible, to get vaccinated and help to save lives. Vaccination is an important defence in our war against Covid-19. Let us therefore shield the elderly and vulnerable members of our community. Those willing, should be prioritised to receive vaccination.”

The national vaccination rate, for persons fully vaccinated, currently stands at 1.3% of total population, while 5% have received the first dose.

United against Covid

The president also welcomed a response initiative which is providing home-care for Covid-19 affected community members, through the assistance of volunteering medical practitioners led by the community of Rehoboth.

“With a rising number of cases reported to be succumbing at home before presenting to health facilities, I encourage other towns and regions who may be experiencing a sharp rise in incidence, to adopt a similar approach, in consultation with the ministry of health.”

Opportunities

The president also said that anticipated disruptions to the supply chains of essential goods and services in South Africa due to ongoing unrest experienced in certain parts of that country, may present an opportunity to bolster domestic capacity.

“Accelerated efforts are underway to, among others, increase local oxygen generating capacity through an investment by the GIPF and to fast-track the manufacturing of coffins locally, through the Ministry of Industrialisation & Trade and National Planning Commission. Such renewed investments should remain viable beyond this particular crisis.”

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