Namibia in full lockdown

Measures intensified

14 April 2020 | Government

Hage Geingob; President; “During this period, movement within the whole country will be restricted.

Cabinet met and reviewed progress on the extraordinary measures that have been adopted with the dual purpose of protecting the health, security and safety of Namibians and the economy in light of the Covid-19 pandemic today.

The current lockdown for the Erongo and Khomas region, including the local authorities of Windhoek and Rehoboth was to lapse on Friday, 17 April 2020 at midnight. The president announced the extension of the existing lockdown period from midnight on Friday 17 April 2020 to midnight on 4 May 2020, saying it is a necessary measure.

“During this period, movement within the whole country will be restricted. The regions will be grouped into zones with the exact modalities to be worked out by law enforcement agencies.”

Should things go accordingly, the country will reopen on 5th May 2020.

The current prohibition relating to certain operations and closure of certain business activities have been revisited to allow for the opening of informal trading and open markets, subject to strict hygiene, social distancing and limiting of patrons.

The ministry of urban and rural development have been tasked to implement the modalities and enforce full compliance.

The fishing industry will also be allowed to continue operating. “The sector operates in the food supply chain and is considered to render essential services subject to the health standards agreed,” the president explained.

Geingob said that with regards to the reopening of schools that teachers and lecturers will operate from home from 20 April 2020, and will officially return to places of work on Wednesday, 6 May 2020.

“Learners and students will not return to school until further notice.”

The work from home for government and private sector employees which was in place for 14 days ending 17 April 2020, has also been extended to Tuesday, 5 May 2020.

The president called on all Namibians to remain calm and to cooperate with the authorities in order to ensure that public order is not compromised.

“Allow the authorities to work unhindered and do not provoke them unduly. I also urge law enforcement to demonstrate professionalism by operating within the law.”

The president said he was generally encouraged by what he had observed so far.

He once again appealed to all Namibians to respect the regulations and measures in place to curb the spread of the virus.

“The pandemic we face today is unprecedented. I am confident that by working collaboratively, we will respond effectively to minimize the spread of the virus and restore the health of those affected and restart our economic activities.”

Geingob emphasised that Covid-19 remains a serious global health pandemic and said the health of Namibians remains the first priority.

“Covid-19 is not only a threat to the lives of the Namibian people and the public health system, but it also bears secondary negative economic impacts on businesses, including jobs and livelihoods. We responded with urgent and aggressive measures to contain the spread of the novel Corona Virus into our communities.”

According to the president the measures that have been put in place are starting to bear fruits.

“Our priority has been and shall remain curbing the spread of the disease. The second priority is to minimize impacts of Covid-19 on the economy. To this end government rolled out the economic stimulus to the tune of N$8.1 billion on 7 April 2020. Payment to qualifying beneficiaries has started to be effected today and so far over 350 000 applications have been received.”

To date, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases stands at sixteen. Of these, three people have made full recovery and there has been no report of new infections for over a week.

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