Erongo remains in Stage 1 lockdown
08 June 2020 | Government
According to President Hage Geingob, Namibia has not defeated this virus yet and the battle remains ongoing, as new cases continue to be reported.
In announcing the continuance of Stage 1 Covid-19 restrictions for the whole Erongo region, Geingob said that the risk profile for the spread of the illness in the Erongo region warrants specific attention.
He said that “based on observations in the Walvis Bay Local Authority Area, members of the public are not adhering to lockdown measures. Therefore, the potential for community spread and the risk level for Walvis Bay and surrounding towns, is high. This necessitates more stringent measures to curb the spread beyond Walvis Bay.”
The president said it was thus necessary to extend Stage 1 restrictions to the entire Erongo region for another period of 14 days, effective from midnight tonight (8 June) until midnight on 22 June 2020.
“This time will be utilized to conduct expansive testing in the area surrounding the known cases. The ministry will also expand the search for contacts to secondary contacts. Government will use the extended lockdown in the Erongo region to strengthen our defences and our ability to care for affected communities.”
Geingob also directed that all old age homes in the Erongo region be placed under isolation. “We know that elderly Namibians are more vulnerable to this virus. Caregivers should also have the appropriate personal protective equipment.”
The president emphasised that restrictive measures are temporary and asked Namibians to work with the authorities.
“If we lose control now, these measures will be put in place for much longer and that is a scenario we are working to avoid. Therefore, we need every citizen to comply with the regulations.”
The president said that government is committed to restarting the economy, saying that this cannot be achieved if the virus spreads from person to person and from community to community.
“We must control the spread of infection with a view to stopping it so as to resume economic activity. We can maintain our health in a way that protects our families, communities and also creates a safe environment to welcome tourists back as soon as possible.”
As of 7 June 2020, Namibia recorded 29 confirmed cases, of which eight are in the Erongo region. Seven of the cases that surfaced in the Erongo region were reported in the last two weeks.
Three cases in particular are of huge concern.
• Case 21 is that of a truck driver who breached quarantine regulations and may have been in contact with other members of the community. So far 59 contacts have been identified. The tracing of contacts is ongoing. It is a meticulous process to ensure that no contact is left unidentified and untraced.
• Case 22 is that of a fisherman who was admitted to a private health facility in Walvis Bay. He has had contact with various members of the community and is currently in intensive care. This poses a possibility of transmission of the virus to others. Contact tracing has also commenced and is ongoing.
• Case 26 is that of an employee of the private health facility where case No. 22 is admitted. This case also had contact with several people in and around Walvis Bay. So far, 15 contacts have been identified and traced. If not handled correctly, this could increase possibilities for community transmission of the virus.