By Molaole Montsho
A mobile hospital has been set up outside the Hosea Kutako International Airport in Namibia for the immediate containment and treatment of coronavirus cases.
The unit was moved from the Okahandja military base to accommodate suspected coronavirus patients, and to allow for immediate treatment when detected at the international airport, The Namibian newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The hospital has 18 beds, an intensive care unit with two beds, pre-theatre reception with one stretcher and a casualty department with four stretchers.
Health minister Kalumbi Shangula told the newspaper that the hospital was set up to ensure immediate containment and treatment of coronavirus cases.
According to the the World Health Organisation (WHO), coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not previously been identified in humans.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death.
The novel coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China, on December 31.
China’s national health commission has said there were 2 478 confirmed new cases in the mainland and 108 additional deaths, most of them in Hubei province.
The government said that, as of Monday night, a total of 42 638 cases had been confirmed and 1 016 people had died in the country.
WHO is convening a two-day global research and innovation forum to mobilise international action in response to the virus. The forum is held on Tuesday and Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland.
“Harnessing the power of science is critical for bringing this outbreak under control,” said WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“There are questions we need answers to, and tools we need developed as quickly as possible. WHO is playing an important coordinating role by bringing the scientific community together to identify research priorities and accelerate progress.” African News Agency (ANA)