‘Enjoy this festive season responsibly’ – Geingob

02 December 2020 | Government

President Hage Geingob has called on Namibians to remember that Covid-19 remains a threat in light of the approaching festive season and given various family and social events being planned.

“As we enter the festive season and prepare to travel to different parts of the country to reunite with our loved ones, let us do so with all precaution to protect ourselves, communities and our loved ones. Public health measures remain the most powerful weapon we have at our disposal. They need to be observed and enforced at all times,” the president said.

Geingob cautioned Namibians to continue observing physical distancing, maintaining hand hygiene by washing and sanitizing while enjoying festivities during this holiday season. He also reminded Namibians that wearing masks correctly is mandatory.

The president said that he observed with concern that Namibians are becoming complacent and are not adhering to the prescribed Health & Hygiene Protocols.

“We cannot afford to relax now; we must rather intensify the fight against Covid-19. This pandemic is the biggest challenge to face our country since independence, both in its nature and scope. In terms of its effects, the pandemic has had a negative impact on our lives and livelihoods. No aspect of our society has been left untouched.”

Economy

The president said that the economy has borne the brunt of this pandemic in terms of jobs that have been lost, reduced productivity, business closures and declining disposable income.

“The full extent of this impact on our economy is yet to be fully determined.”

Geingob emphasised that the Covid-19 experience has not been a pleasant one.

“Our economy has been hurt, thousands have lost employment, once thriving businesses have closed, children have been home for months on end and away from school. Hence, we must remain vigilant and be prepared for any eventuality, including the possibility of a second wave. Considering the precarious nature of our economy, this is a scenario we can ill afford.”

The president pointed out that the ministry of labour, industrial relations and employment creation in collaboration with the Namibia Statistics Agency will further ascertain the scope of the impact on business, economy and jobs.
“Some indicators are clear though. It is against this background that the pace of the economic recovery will depend on policy interventions and actions that will be taken beyond the lockdown.”

Geingob said that government is busy with final preparations for a holistic recovery programme for the nation, as was committed to during the Mid-Term Budget Review in October 2020.

“Stakeholders have been consulted and the Harambee Prosperity Plan for the four-year period (2021-2025), which includes the Economic Recovery Programme, will be launched in February 2021.”

Fighting on

Namibia continues to tackle the pandemic on different fronts as prescribed by its National Covid-19 Response and Preparedness Plan, which focuses on safeguarding public health and the livelihood of our people.

“We have no other choice; we and must continue what we started by enhancing risk communication and communicate engagement by testing, tracing contacts and timeously isolating cases,” said the president.

He encouraged the public to continue coming forward, to seek testing if they think they have been exposed and called on the community to provide correct information for contact tracing purposes and case monitoring when they seek health services including testing.

To date, 14 345 people have been infected with the virus in Namibia and the lives of 151 Namibians have been lost. The worst-case scenario as projected by our WHO models estimated a loss of nearly 4 000 Namibian lives.

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