Covid health measures updated

29 April 2021 | Health

Amended Covid-19 measures come into force at 00:00 on 1 May 2021 and will lapse at midnight on 31 May 2021.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula announced that the curfew from 22:00 – 04:00 remains in place.

Shangula said that the number of new infections remains high, with cases being reported daily from all regions. He advised that Namibia will do well to learn lessons from other countries, where the pandemic has overwhelmed health systems.

“The onus rests on all of us to prevent such horrific scenarios. We can do it by complying with public health measures that have been put in place. We can do it by making the preventive and hygiene practices part of our daily lives.”

The minister emphasised that this is particularly important as we approach the winter season where people tend to huddle in close settings and where influenza tends to proliferate.

Vaccinations

Shangula said that the ministry has established 383 vaccination sites at health districts around the country.

“Of these, 181 are fixed, 154 are mobile and 48 are outreach points. So far, more than 20 315 persons have been vaccinated following the roll-out of the nationwide vaccination programme. This is an encouraging positive response. We call upon more Namibians to get vaccinated.”

The minister also tackled reports of individuals been turned away from vaccination sites and being denied vaccination because they did not have national identification documents.

“No eligible person should be turned away and denied vaccination. Persons without an ID can be vouched for by another person with an ID, who knows him or her, and receive the vaccination.”

Shangula said that documents such as health passports, voter registration cards, documents from church authorities, and driver’s licenses may serve as identification documents.

“In cases where none of these can be produced, a person can also provide their birth date. If this is unknown, health workers will use the date of vaccination and the person’s name for record purposes,” the minister explained.

Shangula emphasised that vaccines are available for all Namibians and people residing in Namibia at no cost.

Regulations

Where no change is announced, regulations remains in place and in force as earlier gazetted.

The correct and mandatory wearing of masks remains part of the response, while public gatherings remain at 100 persons for both indoor and outdoor events.

The measures related to education remain unchanged. Learners from boarding schools where active transmission of Covid-19 is taking place, will remain at the boarding facilities.

Spectators, limited to 100, are allowed at sport events and protocols must be adhered to.

A person who leaves Namibia for with a negative result and returns within the validity period of such test, does not have to undergo another test upon returning to Namibia. Namibians who return without results, will be quarantined either at home or under government supervised quarantine. However, all persons seeking home quarantine must submit an application for supervised home quarantine.

Persons whose homes are unsuitable for home quarantine, will be quarantined in identified facilities at own cost. The exemption for those who qualify still applies. All quarantined persons will be tested on Day 7 and released with negative results or placed in isolation if positive for Covid-19.

Public transport operators are permitted to load to full capacity.

Testing, burials

The PCR test for Covid-19 remains unchanged. Negative Antigen Rapid Diagnostic results are recognised and accepted in Namibia. Only nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs are required, not blood specimens. A person tested for Covid-19 should not travel pending his or her results.

Only two persons are permitted to view the body of the deceased at a time and for two minutes, while maintaining all prevention measures. The maximum number of people at a Covid burial remains the same as for other public gatherings.

The health ministry is responsible for transporting the body back to the home town if the family cannot afford the services of an undertaker. The body of a person who died due to Covid complications outside Namibia will be allowed into Namibia if cremated.