Lockdown measures remain as is

06 July 2020 | Government

President Geingob announced that the current applicable Stage 4 Covid-19 lockdown measures will be maintained for all 13 regions with the exception of the Erongo region, which remains under Stage 3 until 3 August (for 28 days).


The president said that government was fully aware that restrictions on the movement of people and the lockdowns necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic have had an adverse effect on the economy.

“However, Namibia’s incidence curve for Covid-19 cases has risen sharply in recent weeks. Flattening this sharp rise will now, more than ever, require government to remain firm and responsive to the changing realities on the ground.”

The president said that there is no evidence at the moment of transmission of the virus from the community in the rest of the country.

Numbers

“As of today, 485 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in Namibia since the index case on 13 March 2020. Of the total number of cases confirmed nationally, 436 (or 90%) are from the Erongo region, with 391 of these cases specifically in Walvis Bay. With 81% share of the total cases reported countrywide, it is clear that the local authority area of Walvis Bay has become the epicenter of the spread of coronavirus in our country.”

President Geingob said that the local authority areas of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis have been placed under a special dispensation during the Covid-19 State of Emergency and measures were introduced with the sole objective of containing the spread of disease within and beyond these three towns.

“Namibia’s rate of new infection is accelerating rapidly. Over the last seven days, 303 new cases have been confirmed, of which 294 are from Walvis Bay. While the remaining eight cases were reported in other regions, six of these are travel-related to Walvis Bay. This morning we reported the highest number of new infections – 73 new cases. Of these, 72 are from Walvis Bay and one from the Khomas Region, but with a travel history from Walvis Bay.”

The president also listed Karasburg in the //Kharas Region, Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi Region, Engela in the Ohangwena Region, Oshakati in the Oshana Region, Swakopmund in the Erongo Region and Windhoek in the Khomas Region as other towns and localities where new cases have been confirmed.

Transmission

The president pointed out that different types of transmission are being recorded.

“At Swakopmund we are mitigating a cluster of cases (where most cases have been locally transmitted but can be traced to chains of transmission). What is frightening is that there is community transmission at Walvis Bay. To date, in other parts of the country, we recorded sporadic cases.”

President Geingob gave the assurance that government is closely monitoring the situation in the country as it unfolds, as well as the effectiveness of measures being implemented to combat the pandemic.

The president also said that evidence shows that Namibia is dealing with two very distinct Covid-19 situations: The one prevailing at Walvis Bay and the rest of the country. It is therefore necessary to apply rational and targeted interventions to respond effectively to both situations.

“The rising number of cases at Walvis Bay warrants additional containment measures to slow the rate of transmission and prevent the illness from spreading beyond the three Local Authority Areas. To decongest informal settlements in the three local authority areas, the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, together with the Regional and Local Authorities will identify suitable venues or facilities with adequate provision of water and ablution facilities, where residents can be temporarily relocated.”

In this regard, the president requested that the governor of the Erongo region investigate the feasibility of using the unallocated Mass Houses at both Swakopmund and in Walvis Bay to place people.

“The Governor has reported that 60 Mass Houses are available at Walvis Bay and 100 in Swakopmund. We will determine how to utilize those for this purpose,” said the president.

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