Namibia’s hospitals and mortuaries have been all but completely overwhelmed by Covid-19 patients, as the Delta variant brings the country to the brink of collapse.
The country’s health minister, Kalumbi Shangula, said on Monday that the Delta variant was detected in “17 out of 28 samples”, driving the country’s cases.
Namibia recorded 4,795 coronavirus cases per million people last week, which is the highest rate in the world over that period.
Nine senior officials have so far died from Covid-19 in Namibia over the last 10 days, including two senior politicians from Namibia’s ruling party, SWAPO, who succumbed to the virus over the weekend.
Meanwhile, the University of Namibia (Unam) last week paid tribute to 11 staff members and five students who succumbed to Covid-19.
Amongst the country’s other high-profile figures who have died of the virus is Zedekia Ngavirue, who passed away in June.
Ngavirue negotiated with Germany earlier this year over reparations for the genocide against the Herero and Nama people in the early 20th century.
President Hage Geingob brought in stricter Covid restrictions in June introducing a two-week lockdown, restricted entry into the capital Windhoek, the closure of schools and colleges and a 10-person limit on gatherings.
Experts have, however, said that they suspect the government’s decision to allow tourists back into the country early was disastrous, and is likely to be a factor in the wave of Covid which has gripped the country.
Namibia, like most of the rest of the continent, has also suffered from a poor vaccine rollout. To date, the country of 2.5 million people has only administered around 150,000 vaccine doses.
Image source: @TheNamibian