Namibia is facing a “dark and sombre moment” as coronavirus deaths and cases rapidly increase, the country’s President Hage Geingob has said, noting that things were likely to continue to get worse until mid-August at the earliest.
Addressing the nation, he said that 513 Namibians had died in the last 15 days as a result of the virus and cases have trebled since the beginning of June.
With a population of just 2.5 million and representing one of the worst death rates on the continent, Mr Geingob introduced new restrictions, including stopping movement between the country’s regions.
Speaking after the president, Health Minister Kalumbi Shangula said the country was “literally in an existential struggle… we are in a fight for our very lives”.
He described a stretched health service and said that the country’s mortuaries “have reached maximum capacity”.
The minister announced that more intensive care beds were being prepared and steps had been taken to boost the country’s purified oxygen supply.
Rounding off his message, President Geingob urged people to co-operate with the new measures and insisted the nation would overcome the crisis.