Corona (COVID-19) Information Portal

Welcome to Welwitschia Hospital’s Covid-19 Information Portal for information and care you can trust. All information shared on this site has been sourced from reputable sources including the World Health Organization (WHO) website

Number of Confirmed Covid-19 Cases
12103
Number of Reported Covid-19 Recoveries
10329
Number of Covid-19 Related Deaths
130

These numbers were updated 16\10\2020 at 11:20am

COVID-19 ONLINE RISK ASSESSMENT TOOL:

Not sure whether you require a COVID-19 clinical assessment or test? Please take our online Risk Assessment Questionnaire here

INFORMATION YOU CAN TRUST:

You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking all of the below-outlined precautions:

Wash Your Hands Thoroughly & Regularly

Washing your hands has still proven to be the biggest guard against the spread of the disease. As your hands come into contact with many germs, washing your hands with soap and water or using a 70% plus alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water for 20 seconds. Dry your hands after each wash with a single-use paper cloth (and dispose of this paper cloth appropriately) or towel.

Please still remember to use water sparingly. Water is a precious, life-giving resource. Please turn off the taps while you wash your hands and use the tap at a lower pressure flow if possible.

Maintain social distancing

In order to slow the spread of the disease, it is of the utmost importance for us a population to practice social distancing. Social distancing guidelines say that we must maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Avoiding contact with others, whether they are infected or not will help to slow the transmission of the disease.

Social distancing allows us to avoid those who are coughing and sneezing, as when someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Maintaining social distancing, even if you do not have any symptoms, is key to slowing the curve.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

It is important to note that the virus can live on everyday items and surfaces. We touch so many surfaces on a daily basis and these items and surfaces may be infected with the virus. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Most of the time, face touching is done so as a force of habit, unknowingly, and thus it is important to make a conscious effort to avoid touching your face, even after washing or sanitizing your hands.

Practice respiratory hygiene

As we know, the droplets from people coughing and sneezing are one of the ways that the virus is spread and thus you need to make sure that you, and the people around you, practice good respiratory hygiene.

This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you are using tissues, make sure that once used, you dispose of the used tissue immediately. By following good respiratory hygiene, you can protect yourself and those around you from colds, cases of flu and COVID-19.

Wear a mask to prevent the spread

Masks are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19, but only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. And if you are wearing a mask you must know how to dispose of it properly.

The WHO suggests that those with COVID-19 and COVID-19 symptoms are mandated to wear a mask to prevent the spread of the virus. A strong case is, however, being made for the public to also wear masks in solidarity when outside of their homes especially in areas with many COVID-19 cases. This curbs the spread by potential COVID-19 positive patients carrying the disease unknowingly due to a lack of symptoms or confirmed tests.

Due to a worldwide shortage of surgical (medical) masks or N-95 that are required for use in hospital & the intimate treatment of COVID-19 patients, wearing your own (correctly) home-made or cloth masks or other alternatives is a good substitute and strongly encouraged.  Cloth homemade masks have the added bonus of being reusable after wash as you would any other cotton materials: in your washing machine or by hand at 60 degrees Celsius hot water & washing powder.

See an easy instruction guide reusing an old Cotton T-Shirt and shoestrings to make a mask here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD4wi3b8jTI

How to use cloth masks correctly:

  • Use only if the mask has been washed or ironed.
  • Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Place your mask with the correct side facing your face, ensure that it covers both your mouth and nose properly.
  • Secure the mask with the strings behind your head, or the elastic bands. Make sure these are tight.
  • Make sure it fits properly and move it around to get the best fit. Avoid leaving any or big gaps between your face and the mask and never touch the cloth part of the mask.
  • Once the mask is on, do not touch your face again until it is removed. If you do touch the cloth part of the mask, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
  • To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of the mask); turn it inside out and hold it by the strings / elastic and place it in a safe container reserved for washing the face mask.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and dry them after them before doing anything else.
  • Wash your cloth masks with warm, soapy water and iron when dry.

Keep good general hygiene and disinfect surfaces.

It is incredibly important to keep up with general hygiene and wash your hands as frequently as possible. It is also very important to clean and disinfect your households’ common areas and high-touch surfaces (especially if there is suspected infection risk).

High-touch surfaces include tables, chairs, doorknobs, phones, remote controls, touch screens, keyboards etc. Keeping up with general hygiene and disinfecting surfaces will help to slow the spread of the virus and this is incredibly important in keeping you, and your family safe.

Wearing Gloves

The regular washing of hands or using appropriate sanitisers have proven to be more effective in curbing the spread of COVID-19 by the public than wearing gloves.

Gloves are meant to be used in clinical environments by medical professionals to avoid cross-contamination and are to be discarded after every interaction. This is because gloves carry germs that are picked up from one surface to the next – like a trolley, a phone, your supplies and your face.

Let’s not forget to still take care of others and our environment during the fight against COVID-19.

Please ensure that you dispose of any possibly infected materials and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) carefully and correctly to stop further spread of the disease. After use, all PPE has to carefully be disposed of in a plastic bag and discarded into a general waste bin so that no one else or yourself can pick up the infection from incorrectly discarded materials.

Please still remember to use water sparingly. Water is a precious, life-giving resource. Please turn off the taps while you wash your hands and use the tap at a lower pressure flow if possible.

If you are older than 65 years of age, have underlying chronic illnesses or immunosuppressed states please see to contact your doctor or Pharmacist prior to any health care visit to confirm whether such a visit is absolutely essential.

If you have any other medical or script related concerns whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact Welwitschia Hospitalyour local GP or Pharmacist.

WHO will continue to review and update information on this subject and advice as more evidence becomes available.

At present, there is no evidence that a pregnant woman is at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness than the general population.

We also still do not know if a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the virus to her foetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery. To date, the virus has not been found in samples of amniotic fluid or breastmilk.

However, due to changes in their bodies and immune systems, we know that pregnant women can be badly affected by some respiratory infections. It is therefore important that they take precautions to protect themselves against COVID-19, and report possible symptoms (including fever, cough or difficulty breathing) to their healthcare provider.

Pregnant women should take the same precautions to avoid COVID-19 infection as other people and if they have any of the COVID-19 related symptoms seek medical attention early. See our risk assessment questionnaire for more information. Please remember to not self-present at health facilities if you are potentially COVID-19 positive, but to phone the relevant facility in advance to set up your clinical assessment appointment.

It’s also important for the health of the mother and the baby that all pregnant women and women who have recently delivered – including those affected by COVID-19 – to attend their routine care appointments. 

Many women also ask how does COVID-19 affects their birthing & breastfeeding plans.  According to the World Health Organisation all pregnant women, including those with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections, have the right to high-quality care before, during and after childbirth. This includes antenatal, newborn, postnatal, intrapartum and mental health care.

A safe and positive childbirth experience includes:

  • Being treated with respect and dignity
  • Having a companion of choice present during delivery
  • Clear communication by maternity staff
  • Appropriate pain relief strategies
  • Mobility in labour where possible, and birth position of choice

You’re also not required to give birth via caesarean section if expected that you are positive with COVID-19. The mode of birth should still be individualized and based on a woman’s preferences alongside obstetric indications.

Another important question is whether you can still breastfeed with a COVID-19 infection. Again the WHO advises YES if you wish to, as close contact and early, exclusive breastfeeding helps your newborn to thrive. Important precautions a COVID-19 patient must take during breastfeeding:

  • Practice good respiratory hygiene during feeding by wearing a mask
  • Wash hands before and after touching your baby
  • Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces they have touched

If you are too unwell to breastfeed your baby due to COVID-19 or other complications, you should be supported to safely provide your baby with breastmilk in a way possible, available, and acceptable to you. This could include:

  • Expressing milk
  • Relactation
  • Donor human milk

The COVID-19 test results should take about 2-3 days. You do not have to return to the testing facility to get the results – they will call you. Please make sure they have your correct address and phone number so that we can contact you. Until the results are received, you should please consider yourself infected until you are given the “all clear” by the Ministry of Health and follow the Self-Isolation Guidelines outlined below.

It is important to note that severe disease only occurs in a small percentage of patients and that most cases of COVID-19 can safely be managed at home in consultation with your General Practitioner (GP) & following the Self-Isolation Guidelines outlined below.

For sound medical assessment and advice, please contact and consult with your local GP. We urge you to please refrain from self-presenting to hospitals, GP practices or pharmacies. As far as possible, please call in advance if you require urgent hospital care, need to book consultations or collect scripts.

Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and also develops difficulty breathing. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact and consult with your local GP.

Those with mild symptoms can manage the symptoms at home by resting, keeping hydrated and taking paracetamol or over the counter flu medication. Children should only use paracetamol.

If you live alone or can isolate yourself from others in the house please follow the below guidelines:

  • Please stay at home
  • Accept no visitors
  • No family gatherings
  • Do not make any trips to the school, university, work, park, library, movies, church, the Doctor, chemist or even Hospital without an appointment.
  • Isolate yourself in a separate, well-ventilated room at home.
  • If possible, use a separate bathroom and/or toilet.
  • If there is only 1 toilet in the household, ensure you clean the toilet seat, flusher, tap, sink, door handles and any other surface that may have been touched each time it has been used by the person who is sick.
  • After using the toilet, please close the lid before you flush and then wash your hands.  The virus can be detected in faeces and closing the lid before flushing reduces the risk of the virus becoming airborne and spreading the infection further.
  • The same applies to the showers/baths

Around 1 out of every 6 people who get COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and also develops difficulty breathing. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact and consult with your local GP.

We urge you to please refrain from self-presenting to hospitals, GP practices or pharmacies and to refrain from any physical contact with elderly people, people with lung disease or any person with a compromised immune system due to acute or chronic disease.

As far as possible, please call in advance if you require urgent hospital care, need to book consultations or collect scripts.

It is important to note that severe disease only occurs in a small percentage of patients and that most cases of COVID-19 can safely be managed at home & we expect persons to recover without any long term consequences.

We, as a community, and a country as a whole is making huge changes to our lives & sacrifices of foregoing our comforts and freedoms to save precious lives and reduce the number of people being infected by COVID-19.

Looking after you and your loved ones’ mental health is an important part of seeing us through this pandemic. Below are a few tips outlined by the World Health Organisation on doing exactly this. However, if you or someone you know have the need to reach out to someone during this time please know that our doctors are able to conduct remote consultations. Don’t hesitate to contact your GP.

Our new realities include working from home, temporary unemployment, home-schooling our children, and lack of physical contact with other family members, friends and colleagues and it will take time to get used to. Adapting to lifestyle changes such as these, and managing the fear of contracting the virus and worry about people close to us who are particularly vulnerable, are challenging for all of us. They can be particularly difficult for people with mental health conditions.

Fortunately, there are lots of things that we can do to look after our own mental health and to help others who may need some extra support and care. 

Keep informed. Listen to advice and recommendations from your national and local authorities. Follow trusted news channels, such as local and national TV and radio, and keep up-to-date with the latest news from @WHO on social media.

Have a routine. Keep up with daily routines as far as possible, or make new ones.  

  • Get up and go to bed at similar times every day.
  • Keep up with personal hygiene.
  • Eat healthy meals at regular times.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Allocate time for working and time for resting.
  • Make time for doing the things you enjoy.

Minimize newsfeeds. Try to reduce how much you watch, read or listen to news that makes you feel anxious or distressed. Seek the latest information at specific times of the day, once or twice a day if needed. 

Social contact is important. If your movements are restricted, keep in regular contact with people close to you by telephone and online channels.

Alcohol and drug use. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink or don’t drink alcohol at all. Don’t start drinking alcohol if you have not drunk alcohol before. Avoid using alcohol and drugs as a way of dealing with fear, anxiety, boredom and social isolation.

There is no evidence of any protective effect of drinking alcohol for viral or other infections. In fact, the opposite is true as the harmful use of alcohol is associated with increased risk of infections and worse treatment outcomes.

And be aware that alcohol and drug use may prevent you from taking sufficient precautions to protect yourself against infection, such as compliance with hand hygiene.

Screen time. Be aware of how much time you spend in front of a screen every day. Make sure that you take regular breaks from on-screen activities.

Video games. While video games can be a way to relax, it can be tempting to spend much more time on them than usual when at home for long periods. Be sure to keep the right balance with off-line activities in your daily routine.

Social media. Use your social media accounts to promote positive and hopeful stories. Correct misinformation wherever you see it.

Help others. If you are able to, offer support to people in your community who may need it, such as helping them with food shopping.

Support health workers. Take opportunities online or through your community to thank your country’s health-care workers and all those working to respond to COVID-19. 

Don’t discriminate. Fear is a normal reaction in situations of uncertainty. But sometimes fear is expressed in ways which are hurtful to other people. Remember:  

  • Be kind. Don’t discriminate against people because of your fears of the spread of COVID-19. 
  • Don’t discriminate against people who you think may have Coronavirus.
  • Don’t discriminate against health workers. Health workers deserve our respect and gratitude now more than ever.
  • COVID-19 has affected people from many countries. Don’t attribute it to any specific group.

For more information and tips, please visit the World Health Organisation Website <links here: https://www.who.int/news-room/campaigns/connecting-the-world-to-combat-coronavirus/healthyathome/healthyathome—mental-health>

In light of the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and in support of His Excellency, President Hage G. Geingob’s, announcement of the lockdown, Welwitschia Hospital was necessitated to take extraordinary measures to protect our patients and healthcare teams.

As of 17:00 pm on 28 March 2020, Welwitschia Hospital suspended all visiting hours for its General Ward, Surgical Ward, Adult Intensive Care Unit, Casualty and Outpatient Department with immediate effect.

The only exceptions for visitors will be made for the below wards as outlined by the listed protocols:

Neonatal ICU:

  • The mother of the newborn will be allowed to stay (not visit) in the hospital.
  • Only the father of the newborn is allowed to visit the mother and newborn admitted in the hospital.
  • This is only allowed on the condition that the parents passed the screening at the entrance, have had no COVID-19 exposure and accepts that very strict infection prevention controls will be put in place to minimise the risk to their and other newborns being cared for in our facility.
  • Parents must not walk around or congregate with other individuals.
  • No other visitors will be allowed to visit.

Paediatric Ward:

  • Only one parent will be allowed to stay (not visit) with their admitted child in the hospital. Parents are allowed to rotate every 24 hours. 
  • This is only allowed on the condition that the parent passed the screening at the entrance, has had no COVID-19 exposure and accepts that very strict infection prevention controls will be put in place to minimise the risk to their child and other children being cared for in our facility.
  • The parent must stay in the room and at the bedside, not walk around or congregate with other individuals.
  • No other visitors will be allowed.

Maternity Ward:

  • Only the partner of the patient is allowed to visit.
  • This is only allowed on the condition that he/she passed the screening at the entrance, has had no COVID-19 exposure and accepts that very strict infection prevention controls will be put in place to minimise the risk to other patients being cared for in our facility.
  • Visitors must not walk around or congregate with other individuals.
  • No other visitors will be allowed to visit.

Severely Ill Patients:

  • Further exemptions will only be made for gravely ill patients
  • Only the Nursing Manager on-call can grant an exemption.
  • Kindly note that only a minimal number of visitors will be allowed regardless of an exemption granted.

We as a community, and Namibia as a whole, have to make the sacrifice of foregoing our comforts and freedoms to save precious lives. We trust that you will understand that these measures are in the best interest of your loved ones and other immune-compromised patients who are more susceptible to the potential severity of COVID-19.

Please do not hesitate to call upon our staff to assist in the delivery of any personal items to inpatients.

Please know that we have only used sources on this page that we trust to be medically sound. Please guard against fake news and ensure you stay informed with the right information.

Additional Information Sources:

Important Contact Information