2000 tests planned in four days

25 June 2020 | Local News

Walvis Bay • el[email protected]

“We are facing a mammoth task to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Walvis Bay,” said Erongo regional governor Neville Andre during his afternoon media briefing in Swakopmund.

“The virus is now among us. We have to stick together and fight the pandemic.”

However, to determine the extent of the pandemic in Walvis Bay, he said a “complex test program” started in which 2 000 residents from all areas of the town, but especially those who had “a lot of contact with third parties” as part of their work, would be tested until Saturday.

“Then we should have an overview of the extent and to which parts of the town the virus has spread,” Andre said.

The number of Covid-19 cases in Walvis Bay increased again with health minister Kalumbi Shangula confirming yet more infections – most of which are in Walvis Bay. He asked residents of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis to refrain from travelling to other areas.

The towns of Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Arandis have been cut off from the rest of the country after President Hage Geingob announced this measure on Monday.

Nevertheless, the police are issuing travel permits again, but only if “there is a good reason for it”, said Erongo regional police commander, Andreas Nelumbo.

However, residents may commute between the three towns without travel authorisation.

To enforce the new regulation, three roadblocks have been set up: One on the C14 gravel road at Walvis Bay; another at approximately Mile 6 between Swakopmund and Henties Bay; and a third on the B2 highway near Arandis.

“We urge the community to share the responsibility and comply with Stage 3 lockdown regulations," said Nelumbo.

Meanwhile, it was an almost normal day in Walvis Bay for the first time in several months yesterday. Only some public enterprises, including the municipality and NamPost, had temporarily closed their doors.

“We want to give our staff who live in Kuisebmond, the opportunity to get tested,” the municipality said. Council has shut down until Friday (26 June), while NamPost planned on keeping branches in Kuisebmond and Narraville closed until Thursday to sanitise them.

“The decision is based on the fact that a staff member may have had contact with an identified Covid-19 case. The employee is in self-isolation and we are waiting for further instructions,” NamPost said in a statement.

Residents of Walvis Bay were also allowed to sell alcoholic beverages in restaurants for the first time in almost 100 days, while liquor shops were allowed to open their doors.

“I fear that selling alcohol in Walvis Bay could drive virus transmission into the community, or lead to crime and hospital emergency rooms,” said Knowledge Ipinge, Walvis Bay urban constituency councillor.

“Remember, alcohol weakens the immune system, which can affect the respiratory system,” he warned.

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