Residents advised to act responsibly
25 June 2020 | Local News
Stage 3 lockdown regulations, with special restrictions applying to Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis, are now at the order of the day for residents of the Erongo region.
Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said at the daily Covid-19 briefing that the rest of the country excluding the Erongo region, will transit from Stage 3 to Stage 4 on Monday, 29 June 2020 at 23:59.
Stage 4 regulations will apply to the country until 17 September 2020, for an extended 10-week period, while Stage 3 regulations will apply for the Erongo region until 6 July.
“Residents of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis are expected to remain in their respective areas and not move out except for circumstances as articulated in the proclamation. Law enforcement agencies will not allow unnecessary movements from those areas.”
Permits are required for travelling outside of Arandis to Henties Bay, and the other towns in the region.
Upon further inquiry, the minister said that Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis is in Stage 3 along with the rest of region.
“The special restrictions refer to individuals that may not travel out of these towns without valid permits or reasons. The other restriction refers to that no more than 10 people may attend a gathering in the three towns. Schools also remain closed for this period.”
Stage 3 graduation allows residents to buy alcohol in the Erongo region from 12:00 – 18:00 during weekdays, and from 09:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays.
Some residents were already observed sitting in front of bars and shebeens waiting for them to open in Kuisebmond on Tuesday.
Shangula said that the problem with alcohol is that when a person becomes intoxicated, he or she is no longer in a position to apply and adhere to the preventative measures concerning Covid-19.
“Then there will be no social distancing, and he or she may not even wear a mask. These are just some of the things that can happen when a person becomes intoxicated. Through this behaviour someone exposes themselves more to the dangers of contracting Covid-19. Additionally, any person who is sick is not supposed to consume alcohol. It is the same with Covid-19. It is not recommended.”
He explained that the onus rests on community members to take care of themselves despite their new found freedom.
“We are now in the stage where the responsibility falls on the individuals rather than on government. In Stage 1, government enforced measures but now these measures are relaxed. It is the responsibility of the public to be mindful of all the regulations set in place.”
Inspector Ileni Shapumba, Erongo community affairs commander, said that the focus now falls on personal responsibility.
On Monday an uncontrolled gathering was observed at an office in Walvis Bay with clients being allowed to stand outside and mingle. There was no 1.5 metre social distancing markings or demarcations.
Another gathering was observed at a local fishing company office where people flocked to apply for advertised posts.
“Institutions that engage in activities that have the potential to attract large groups of people must plan for that. They should apply protocols including proper markings at places for people to avoid or limit possible close contact. The police should be notified before gatherings become illegal or uncontrollable.”
Shapumba said that the public should be reminded that they need to adhere to regulations set in place.
“With freedom comes responsibility. The desire to get a job or obtain a service should not make us forget about the virus. I still don't know where or when have we really gone wrong as society, whether at school or at church or simply at home. It is interesting how sometimes we want to be pushed or be reminded to act accordingly. In fact, community policing is telling us that every person should at all times police his/her actions and environment.”