By Andreas Thomas
Windhoek – Health authorities in Namibia on Monday confirmed the presence of the COVID-19 Delta variant in positive samples tested in the Khomas region.
The variant was detected in 17 out of 18 samples analyzed, says Ben Nangombe, executive director in the ministry of Health and Social Services.
“Samples were collected from positive COVID-19 cases from Khomas region. This is the first report on the detection of the Delta variant in Namibia,” he said.
Nangombe said the ministry of health has tasked the University of Namibia to conduct genome sequencing activities to determine the coronavirus circulating in the country.
The latest genome sequencing exercise covers the months of May and June 2021, the official said.
The university conducted the exercise in collaboration with the Research Centre Borstel and the Robert Koch Institute in Germany.
“More genome sequencing activities will be carried out in the coming weeks to determine the extent to which the Delta variant may be present in the rest of the country,” Nangombe noted.
As of July 3, the Delta variant has been detected in 89 countries around the world and is quickly becoming the dominant COVID-19 strain in many countries.
Studies suggest that Delta is significantly more transmissible than other variants.
Over the past weeks, Namibia has been recording high cases of coronavirus infections that have sickened and killed many people.
On Monday, Namibia recorded 1384 positive cases of COVID-19 and 13 deaths.
The country now has 24 641 active cases of coronavirus, whereby 560 people are hospitalized including 106 in the intensive care unit, while 1 662 have died.