State of emergency ends
17 September 2020 | Government
President Hage Geingob, “Moving forward, we will monitor the situation for a period of 14 days, to determine the way forward…”
The State of Emergency was declared due to Covid-19 and became effective on 17 March 2020.
This week cabinet held extensive deliberations to consider expiry of the Covid-19 State of Emergency.
“We have observed positive outcomes from the response measures on public health, such as the declining rates of infection. However, our economy, income and job security have been adversely affected as we implemented these necessary measures. The virus is deadly, however we are aware that poverty also kills.”
Rate of infection
The president stated that scientific evidence shows that the cost of no action would have been far greater.
“The regulations introduced under the State of Emergency have, up to this point, averted widespread community transmissions in our country. Managing the rate of infection has therefore been critical to a successful national Covid-19 response.”
Geingob said that the average number of confirmed new daily cases continues on a downward trend; from 317 cases reported on 23 August and 167 cases reported on 12 September to 63 cases on Wednesday, 16 September.
This represents a further 30% reduction in new daily infections countrywide over the last seven days.
“Walvis Bay, which was once the epicentre, recorded at peak a record of 102 cases on 7 August 2020. On Thursday, 17 September, we recorded just three new cases at the harbour town. Windhoek, which has become the epicentre, at peak recorded 245 cases on 23 August 2020. On Thursday, 17 September the capital city recorded only 62 new cases. This is indicative that measures to suppress the spread have worked, as testing and contact tracing have not been relaxed and remain constant.”
According to the president, the State of Emergency Regulations have achieved a measure of success.
“We will now monitor the situation for a period of 14 days, to determine the way forward, under a new dispensation. When warranted, risk-appropriate measures will be introduced. As from 18 September 2020, new directives will be issued by the minister of health.”
Geingob explained that government utilized the six-month period of the State of Emergency to strengthen systems.
“We spared no effort or resource to reinforce our public healthcare system and other frontline sectors, to the best of our ability and within the financial constraints we faced. With the lapse of regulations, it must dawn on each and every citizen that we are now at a critical time. This is a defining moment in our trajectory to combat Covid-19.”
The president said that the rate of transmission correlates directly to personal conduct and is driven primarily by movement and behavioural choices with regards to social and physical distancing, hygiene and commitment to wear facemasks to suppress the spread.
“When making plans for yourself, family, business, event or congregation, we urge you to consider this reality for everyone’s benefit.”
Geingob said that the possibility of a second wave of infections remains real.
“We are not out of the woods yet. Now is the time to exercise maximum personal responsibility and vigilance. Let us move forward with a greater determination to preserve our health and pursue our dreams in a Namibia that is more resilient and more equipped to deal with whatever challenges we may face in the journey ahead.”
The president also paid tribute to all uniformed services and the health workers.
“To all our doctors, nurses, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), transporters, pharmacists and all of those who support patient care; you have exemplified the spirit of sacrifice and patriotism. May the selflessness and dedication of the men and women who have lost their lives to this pandemic in service to their fellow human beings, inspire us.”