New evidence shows that no one can infect another person with Covid-19 after 10 days of infection if their symptoms have gone away.
Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said this Friday in Windhoek during a press conference when he announced changes in the quarantine and isolation protocols.
Dr Shangula also said Namibia will take steps to build more flexibility in both quarantining and isolating protocols as guided by the evolving scientific and epidemiological information about Covid-19.
He further said policies must be driven by scientific evidence and informed by expert views and knowledge.
In our decision making, he added, Namibia makes use of the best information available to us, both in our country and from across the globe.
“On this basis, a decision was taken to bring changes in our policies on quarantine and isolation for people suspected or found to be infected with the coronavirus.
“The science is now clear: there is no evidence of risk that somebody can infect another person with the virus after 10 days of infection if their symptoms have gone away,” he said, adding that this means that numbers of recoveries will rise quickly.
According to Dr Shangula, it is now known that recovery should be based on resolving symptoms, and counting at least 10 days after the infection started.
Dr Shangula said it has been proven that a person may test positive for COVID-19, for many more weeks after the symptoms have resolved. This, however, he said does not mean such a person is still infective or poses a risk to infect others.
“Changing the policy for quarantine and de-isolation is the right thing to do because we now have the scientific and medical evidence that this is safe and longer quarantines and isolations are not necessary.
“This is what our neighbouring countries have done. It is what many other countries around the world have done, and it is what the WHO and the CDC now recommend,” he said.