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COVID-19 misinformation poses threat to local public health amid fourth wave

COVID-19 misinformation poses threat to local public health amid fourth wave

Misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines poses a threat to public health in Namibia amid a significant number of people getting infected and hospitalized due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant, Dr Kalumbi Shangula, Minister of Health and Social Services, said Thursday.

He made the remarks during the country’s 39th COVID-19 public briefing on amendments to public health general regulations.

“We have noted with the concern of the persistent and sustained anti-vaccination campaigns laced with false narratives that people who are dying from COVID-19 are those who are vaccinated despite official figures showing that 97% of admissions to hospitals is of the unvaccinated individuals,” Shangula said.

According to Shangula, statistics by the Ministry from 01 to 11 January shows that 81 % of new infections are among the unvaccinated individuals, while 94 % of ICU admissions and 91% of deaths are also of the unvaccinated individuals.

Shangula urged locals to consider vaccination, stating that it remains one of the most effective preventive interventions.

“Vaccines helps the body to fight the infection and prevent severe disease, thereby reducing hospitalizations and deaths,” he said.

A total of 411 163 people, representing 22.7% of the target population, have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with 348 552 eligible persons in Namibia fully vaccinated.

In the interim, Shangula said that Government continues to ensure adequate preparedness.

“These includes infrastructure enhancements in terms of isolation and provision of adequate intensive care units, adequate oxygen supply, procurement of equipment, provision of sufficient mortuary facilities as well as recruitment of additional healthcare workers,” he said. (Xinhua).

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