Namibia eases Covid-19 restrictions

ALL 14 regions of the country will on Monday migrate to stage 3 of the lockdown exit strategy for the next 28 days – except for Walvis Bay, which will go back to stage 1 until 8 June.

President Hage Geingob announced this yesterday during a media briefing at State House.

The complete lockdown of Walvis Bay is effective immediately following two concurrent Covid-19 cases in the town.

The observance period will be monitored weekly and may be extended.

This is because case number 21 and 22, both from Walvis Bay, have been in contact with over 100 people between … Read More

Mixed feelings as lockdowns end


AS much of the world begins to emerge from lockdowns, people are looking back at time spent cut off from friends, family and colleagues by the coronavirus and forward to what happens next.

STUCK AT HOME … Zodidi Desewula, a resident of South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, says she will miss nothing about the coronavirus lockdown once it is over, because she and her husband have been unable to work and earn a living while confined to their home. Photo: Nampa-Reuters

Reuters has captured some of those reflections along with portraits from across Africa and the Middle East … Read More

Coronavirus Briefs: Red Cross volunteers step up

The Namibia Red Cross Society currently has 230 volunteers who have been trained on both Covid-19 prevention measures and psychological support. These volunteers are involved in risk communication and community engagement in nine regions across the country.

Helman Aluvilu, one of the volunteers, is serving at the Omahenene border post village in the Omusati region. He helps villagers install tippy taps and demonstrates proper hand-washing techniques.

Aluvilu’s commitment garnered the attention of the regional police, who came to his aid with food and accommodation.

According to spokesperson Edmund Khoaseb, stakeholders in the region have decided to set up a team … Read More

LIVE (Ended) … Covid-19 Update

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula says Namibia has recorded a new Covid-19 case involving a woman who travelled from Tanzania. The woman is quarantined in Windhoek.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula. Photo: MICT

Shangula said the 38-year-old Namibian woman started experiencing symptoms on 7 April while in Tanzania but was not tested there. However, she self-isolated. She travelled back to Namibia on 23 May and was swabbed on 27 May.

“The team learned that she had posted on social media while in Tanzania that she had recovered from Covid-19,” Shangula said.

This takes the country’s number of confirmed coronavirus infections to 23, … Read More

LIVE (Ended) … Covid-19 restrictions – Stage 3 updates

Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said restaurants will be required to keep a list of names of their customers for possible contact tracing.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula

He said that no more than 50 people are allowed at weddings, funerals and any big gatherings.

Shangula said the sale of alcohol will not be allowed on Sundays but people are allowed to drink at home and buy it for take aways only. He also said alcohol should not be sold after 18h00.

Shangula said clubs will not be opened due to the fact that they are high risk areas.

Attorney general
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Stage 3 for Namibia, except Walvis Bay

by Ndanki Kahiurika

President Hage Geingob this afternoon announced that the country will continue to stage 3 of its Covid-19 restrictions, while Walvis Bay will go back to a more restrictive stage 1.

President Hage Geingob

He said the country will have stage 3 for a period of 28 days from Tuesday next week, while Walvis Bay, where the country’s two most recent coronavirus infections were detected, will revert back to stage 1.

Geingob said this at an update on Namibia’s steps to combat the Covid-19 pandemic at State House today.

The president praised Namibians and health workers for their … Read More

Covid-19 patient in ICU

NAMIBIA has recorded another Covid-19 case.

Photo used for illustration purposes only.

The latest case involves a 63-year-old Namibian man who is admitted in the intensive care unit of a Walvis Bay hospital.

The man arrived at the coastal town on a fishing vessel from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 5 May as part of an eight-member crew, including four Namibians.

Minister of health Kalumbi Shangula told the daily Covid-19 information session in Windhoek yesterday that the fishing vessel left Walvis Bay on 25 April to export certain products to the DRC, which the vessel reached on 30 … Read More

Erongo steps up Covid-19 response

ERONGO region is stepping up measures to stop the spread of Covid-19, after a truck driver tested positive for the disease over the weekend at Walvis Bay.

Neville Itope

This trucker became Namibia’s 21st case of the virus. It is alleged he was infected when he was transporting essential goods from South Africa.

Erongo governor Neville Itope yesterday told the media that an emergency meeting of members of the disaster risk management committee was held on Tuesday to discuss a proper response to the latest case.

Itope said the regional health directorate will strengthen its testing, screening and education in … Read More

Nkurenkuru clinic stalled: healthcare delayed amid pandemic


A company appointed to construct a Nkurenkuru primary healthcare facility in 2014, which is still not completed, has since April refused to hand over the site to new contractors for the completion of the project.

Sirrka Ausiku

Shafombabi Eedopi Construction was supposed to complete the facility on 15 April 2015, but has until now reportedly been holding up the Ministry of Health and Social Services after the ministry resolved to appoint six contractors to finish the structure.

Sirkka Ausiku, governor of the Kavango West region, says she is disappointed by the contractor’s conduct during a state of emergency.… Read More

The Covid-19 pandemic around the globe


BRASILIA – The Americas have emerged as a new epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says, as a United States study forecast deaths surging in Brazil and other Latin American countries through August.

FILE PHOTO: An Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) dons personal protective equipment before going into Elmhurst Hospital during the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Queens borough of New York, U.S., April 20, 2020. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

“Now is not the time for countries to ease restrictions,” Carissa Etienne, WHO director for the Americas … Read More

Women lose husbands and then their land due to virus


JOHANNESBURG – Widows across the globe are being evicted, forced to give up property or to marry male relatives after their husbands die from the new coronavirus, land rights experts said on Tuesday.

Women often only earn legal or socially recognised rights to land and property through a husband or father, which are regularly violated during times of crisis, such as war or the HIV-AIDS pandemic, they said – and the coronavirus is no exception.

“Covid-19 is a widow-maker,” Karol Boudreaux, chief programme officer at the land rights charity Landesa, told a webinar organised by the Land Portal … Read More

Coronavirus Briefs: Lorries advised to use Dune 7 road

WAKOPMUND – The security forces in Erongo will be enforcing the strict use of the Dune 7 dual carriageway between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay to prevent lorries from using the C13 road to enter the town of Walvis Bay.

This is to ensure the screening of all lorry drivers and escorting of trucks to the port of Walvis Bay and the quarantine facility at the harbour town, Erongo governor Neville Andre-Itope said at a media briefing yesterday. He added that the regional health directorate has been tasked to identify more quarantine and isolation facilities where stringent measures will be put … Read More

ErongoRED closes head office due to Covid-19 scare

by Ester Mbathera

The Erongo Regional Electricity Distributor on Tuesday asked about 30 employees from its head office at Walvis Bay to work from home, following reports that two employees had come into contact with a person who had contact with a lorry driver suspected to have been exposed to Covid-19.
A spokesperson of the electricity distributor, Benjamin Nangombe, told The Namibian the employees were sent home to self-isolate, and that they would return to their offices at the start of next week.

He said the closure of ErongoRED’s head office is to have the premises disinfected to minimise the risk of exposure … Read More

Suspected scamsters pose as Covid-19 testing team

by Ester Mbathera

AN elderly woman at Walvis Bay has warned the community to be on the lookout for a group of four men and a woman who she claims are masquerading as health officials testing for Covid-19.

Francina Williams was home with her daughter when the five people attempted to invade her home under the disguise of being health officials testing for COVID-19.

The 85-year-old Francina Williams told The Namibian the five people came to her house at around 10h00 this morning claiming to be “health officials from a private Covid-19 organisation”.

“The young man came to me and … Read More

Coping with alcohol separation anxiety

by Yokany Oliveira

WITH the sale and buying of alcohol off limits as part of the state of emergency regulations, many regular drinkers may find it an uphill battle to relax without their favourite beverage.

A wellness centre has urged those struggling with drinking habits to use this period for positive change – even after the two-month long alcohol ban is possibly lifted on 2 June.

Cornerstone Wellness Centre in Windhoek offers support to people struggling with substance abuse and says alcoholics, or those struggling with alcohol, should seek professional help and make use of family support where available.

The … Read More

Alcohol ban fines hit N$100k

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE police have dished out fines of close to N$100 000 to people who contravened the alcohol ban between 5 and 25 May.

Photo: Henry Van Rooi

This was said by Khomas regional police commander Joseph Shikongo at a press briefing yesterday, who said 49 people had been arrested for either buying or selling alcohol during that period.

He reiterated that the smuggling of alcohol from Angola continues to increase.

“From 5 to 25 May, about 49 suspects were arrested for dealing with alcohol, either buying or selling and an amount of N$60 000 was paid in … Read More

The Covid-19 pandemic around the globe


MUMBAI – India yesterday recorded a total of 145 380 coronavirus infections and a death toll of 4 167, comparatively low figures for the world’s second most populous country.

Photo: AFP

But separate states witnessing millions of migrant labourers returning from the big cities were recording rising infections, officials said, fearing that the pandemic could spread through villages where medical care is basic at best.

Health ministry officials said India’s death rate stood at 0,3 deaths per 100 000 people, compared to what they said was a world average of 4,4.… Read More

International: Egyptian historian sees rising surveillance state

by Farid Farid

CAIRO – State surveillance is on the rise globally as governments such as Egypt’s take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic, warns exiled historian and intellectual Khaled Fahmy.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 30, 2013, Egyptian historian Khaled Fahmy poses for a picture during a mass protest calling for the ouster of then-president Mohamed Morsi, outside the Cairo Opera House in the Egyptian capital Cairo’s Zamalek district. – State surveillance is on the rise globally as governments such as Egypt’s take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic, warns exiled historian and public intellectual Khaled Fahmy. Amid
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Walvis councillor orders businesses’ closure

by Ester Mbathera

WALVIS Bay urban constituency councillor Knowledge Ipinge has ordered a transport company and a bank to close their premises at the town due to fears of the spread of the coronavirus.

Knowledge Ipinge

In a letter to the management of FP du Toit Transport company, Ipinge said he was ordering the closure of the company’s depot after a truck driver who was quarantined there tested positive for Covid-19 at the weekend.

Ipinge said he was acting “through the power vested in me as an authorised officer in terms of section 33 and 34 of the Disaster Risk … Read More

Schools a challenge for security cluster

by Namibia Press Agency

THE reopening of schools is posing a challenge to members of the security cluster who are accommodated in several school hostels countrywide.

Erongo police chief Andreas Nelumbu.

Their deployment in various towns and at roadblocks is aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19 through inter-regional travel.

Erongo police commander, commissioner Andreas Nelumbu told the governor’s weekly media update that with the reopening of schools, these officers will be required to evacuate the hostels.

“This will be a challenge for us in terms of accommodating them to carry out their duties,” he said.

The commissioner said consultations … Read More

Health Update: Confirmed Covid-19 cases in Namibia now at 22

Namibia has reported another positive Covid-19 case, bringing the total cases to 22. The 63-year-old patient is in a critical condition and is on a ventilator at a Walvis Bay hospital.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula made this announcement at the Covid-19 communication centre in Windhoek this morning, and said the patient had been on a fishing vessel that had returned from the Democratic Republic of Congo to export products.   

Kalumbi Shangula
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Walvis Bay Urban constituency regional councillor Knowledge Ipinge has urged the public to refrain from making discriminatory remarks on social media or other public platforms against the cross-border lorry driver who tested positive for Covid-19 at Walvis Bay.

Ipinge says remarks aimed against the driver have negatively affected him and also his family. The 47-year-old driver is currently helping the health authorities trace people with whom he has been in contact recently.

The driver received a heavy backlash on social media from the public for visiting a local bank and leaving the company premises where he was expected to stay … Read More

Walvis Bay parents applauding home learning

by Taati Niilenge

SOME parents at Walvis Bay are urging others to embrace home learning during the coronavirus crisis, as it has benefited their children.

DEDICATION … Timothy Serogwe has class with his daughter and her friend every day, and says they are now well above their class level.

They say they have been helping their children in an environment that is not crowded, which improved reading and mathematics skills a lot.

“It was hard in the begining, but I soon started changing from parent to serious teacher until after class. My child’s feedback from her teacher was really bad … Read More

Pupils to be divided into smaller groups for teaching

PUPILS will be divided into smaller groups for teaching when schools reopen on 3 June, the executive director in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Sanet Steenkamp, has said.

Sanet Steenkamp

This forms part of the recently released guidelines for education staff to ensure continued learning and preparedness for the resumption of face-to-face tuition after the Covid-19 national lockdown.

“Learners should be divided into smaller groups for teaching. This is possible since the other classrooms for Grades 4, 5, 6, 8 and 10 will be empty as they are only expected to return on 20 July 2020. The number … Read More

Ukraine students left high and dry

by Dwight Links

NAMIBIAN students in various fields of study in Ukraine are facing financial hardships during that country’s lockdown as the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has not paid for their upkeep.

The Namibian understand that NSFAF was supposed to pay the students an allowance of N$14 148 in April for food and other personal expenses.

The plight of the students in Ukraine is similar to that of Namibian medical students in Russia who told The Namibian last week that they are stranded because the health ministry has not paid their allowances.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, five … Read More

The Covid-19 pandemic around the globe

Lockdown breach fallout hits British PM

LONDON – British prime minister Boris Johnson faced mutiny in his party and fury across Britain yesterday for refusing to sack his closest aide, Dominic Cummings, accused of flouting the United Kingdom’s coronavirus lockdown by driving 400 kilometres from London.

Boris Johnson

Defending one of Britain’s most powerful men, Johnson said at the weekend Cummings acted “responsibly and legally and with integrity” when he travelled in March from London to Durham in northern England with his son and his wife, who was ill with Covid-19 symptoms.

Many believe that was hypocritical given the government’s … Read More

Africa working towards cure

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

DEPUTY prime minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah says Africa is working as a team to find a cure for Covid-19 and to not rely only on Europe and other continents.

Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah

She made these remarks at the Covid-19 communication centre in Windhoek yesterday, while discussing African governments’ response to the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that has swept across the planet since first being detected in China near the end of 2019. Panellists at the information centre also included health minister Kalumbi Shangula and South African high commissioner Archie Whitehead.

The continent yesterday celebrated Africa Day under … Read More

Namibian dies of Covid-19 in UK

A NAMIBIAN died of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom on Saturday.

Abiud Vambetja Uazeua

Deputy prime minister and minister of international relations and cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah announced this at the Covid-19 communication centre in Windhoek yesterday.

The man has been identified as Abiud Vambetja Uazeua, who lives in Nottingham, United Kingdom (UK).

Uazeua died from Covid-19-related symptoms. He is survived by his wife, Consey Uazeua and eight children.

“Mrs Uazeua and her children were with Mr Uazeua at the time of his passing. Having learned of the death of Mr Uazeua, the high commission of Namibia to the UK made … Read More

Truckers risk their lives to deliver essentials


DOZENS of Namibian truck drivers have been crossing borders into dangerous territory to pick up and deliver essential goods – risking their health in the process.

One of them tested positive for Covid-19 at Walvis Bay over the weekend, as announced by minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula on Sunday, while another contracted the virus in Zambia where he is currently quarantined.

The 47-year-old truck driver, who is Namibia’s 21st Covid-19 case, returned from South Africa on 8 May and was quarantined at the truck depot of his employer, FP … Read More

Live (Ended) … African government’s response to Covid-19

This morning’s panellists will discuss African governments’ response to Covid-19. Panellists are deputy prime minister and minister of international relations and cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, health minister Kalumbi Shangula and South African high commissioner Archie Whitehead.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said refugees hosted in African countries are being educated on the pandemic, adding no refugee has tested positive for Covid-19.

Whitehead said once the first case was announced in South Africa, president Cyril Ramophosa quickly implemented a lockdown. He said if the country did not act, they would not have been able to deal with the virus.

South Africa plans on easing the lockdown … Read More

Tailor donates masks to Ohangwena council

by Hileni Nembwaya

In an effort to meet the government halfway in the fight against Covid-19, a tailor in the Ohangwena region, Helaria Sheehama, trading as Meme Tangeni Tailoring, and a Helao Nafidi resident donated 200 masks to the Ohangwena Regional Council at Eenhana.

Helaria Sheehama (far right) handing over masks to officials of the Ohangwena Regional Council.
Photo: Contributed.

The masks are to be distributed to disadvantaged communities in the region.

Ohangwena region disaster risk management chairperson Erickson Ndawanifa, who received the masks on behalf of the regional council, assured the community the masks will be fairly distributed.

“Thank … Read More

Walvis Bay councillor calls for calm

by Ester Mbathera

WALVIS Bay urban constituency councillor Knowledge Ipinge has urged the community not to panic after reports of a positive Covid-19 case at the town.

A truck driver who reportedly escaped from the company quarantine facility last week tested positive for the virus today.

“The truck driver who tested positive is now in a state of quarantine, meaning that the person should remain under isolation until the Ministry of Health and Social Services determines there’s no longer a risk of secondary transmission to other community members. This notion that the truck drivers snuck out from the remains unclear … Read More

Coronavirus Top Statistics

Total worldwide coronavirus cases as of 24 May, 18h00: 5 446 569

Deaths: 344 755 Recovered: 2 274 324

Most-affected countries

  1. United States: 1 671 358 confirmed infections; 98 774 deaths including New York: 369 656 cases; 29 112 deaths
  2. Brazil: 352 163 cases; 22 214 deaths
  3. Russia: 344 481 cases; 3 541 deaths
  4. Spain: 282 370 cases; 28 678 deaths

Most-affected African countries

  1. South Africa: 21 343 confirmed infections; 407 deaths
  2. Egypt: 16 513 cases; 735 deaths
  3. Algeria: 8 113 cases; 592 deaths
  4. Nigeria: 7 526 cases; 221 deaths

Southern Africa numbers

South Africa: 21 343 cases; … Read More

International: China tells US to ‘stop wasting time’ in coronavirus battle

by Yew Lun Tian

BEIJING – The United States should stop wasting time in its fight against the coronavirus and work with China to combat it, rather than spreading lies and attacking the country, top Chinese government diplomat Wang Yi said on Sunday.

Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks to reporters via video link at a news conference held on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress (NPC), from the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China May 24, 2020. China Daily via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. CHINA
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Covid-19 diagnosed trucker escapes from quarantine

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue and Sonia Smith

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula this morning confirmed a positive case of covid-19 at Walvis Bay.

Kalumbi Shangula

The latest case is a male truck driver aged 47, who had escaped into the community from the truck port quarantine facility with another trucker.

The truck driver travelled from South Africa on 8 May.

“His last trip to South Africa was on 3 May 2020. He was quarantined at Walvis Bay truck port, then he sneaked out into the community with another truck driver. They were apprehended by the police and put in a supervised quarantine … Read More

Teenage Delano donates food

by Clemans Miyanicwe

DELANO Muller (15), the reigning junior sportsman of the year, on Friday donated 20 food parcels for Khorixas and Fransfontein communities.

CARING … Namibian kickboxer, Lesley !Hoaeb (far left) and Delano Muller (far right) with 62-year-old Eli Habeb, one of the beneficiaries. Muller auctioned and sold his boxing gloves to buy food for destitute people in Fransfontein and Khorixas. Photo: Clemans Miyanicwe

The philanthropic Muller used proceeds from a recent auction of his boxing gloves and photos on Facebook to help the destitute communities.

Muller told The Namibian that this time of Covid-19 is difficult for the … Read More

Opinion: Lifting the Veil on ICT in education

EDUCATION seems to have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic because, in as much as schooling is expected to go on at home, parents at work are expected to supervise the learning process at home.

Many a time, real opportunities to make impactful changes in society manifest in unfortunate situations. For instance, this seems true of the internet. Arpanet, the precursor to the internet, was massively boosted by the cold war of yesteryear.

The international agenda on education is set in the sustainable development goal 4 (SDG 4) as “…ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning … Read More

Yet another Covid-19 case

by Ndanki Kahiurika

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula this morning announced another Namibian has tested positive for Covid-19.

Kalumbi Shangula

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 20.

Shangula said this particular case involves a Namibian man (35), who tested positive two days before his 14-day quarantine period was over.

He urged those in quarantine to maintain social distancing and to refrain from visiting each other’s rooms.

“The man does not display any symptoms. His condition is satisfactory. He will remain in isolation untill he is cleared,” said Shangula.… Read More

UNAIDS chief calls for Africa’s inclusion in global Covid-19 response

by Namibia Press Agency

The fight against Covid-19 will never be defeated without including Africa in the global response, the executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), Winnie Byanyima, has said.

Byanyima in a media statement on Thursday raised concern that in much of the global Covid-19 conversation, Africa is barely mentioned but the risks that the Covid-19 crisis bring are even greater in Africa than elsewhere.

“And those risks will be compounded if Africa is marginalised in the global response,” she said.

She said beating Covid-19 in Africa, in turn, is essential for … Read More

Napwu and Nantu on Covid-19 measures

by Roxane Bayer

BOTH the Namibia Public Workers’ Union (Napwu) and the Namibia National Teachers’ Union (Nantu) are urging members to remain united and comply with Covid-19 regulations, while they continue monitoring the situation.

Petrus Nevonga

In a statement on Friday, Napwu secretary general Petrus Nevonga, and Nantu secretary general Loide Shaanika, said both unions are recognised by the Namibian government as bargaining agents for public servants.

“We have found ourselves in a critical situation since the outbreak of the pandemic, which has threatened the economies of countries around the world, including Namibia,” said Nevonga and Shaanika.

According to them, … Read More

The Arts Get Creative In Murky Times

by James Jamu

The Covid-19 pandemic has put the future of the art world in an uncertain position.

Many artists around the world depend on mass gatherings to make a living.

The drastic halt of events and business in this industry has compromised the livelihood of stand-up comedians, visual artists, actors and musicians.

A modern David and Goliath story has unfolded.

Goliath is an insurmountable avalanche predisposed to shaking the world up.

Scrawny David in our current circumstances is a collection of artists and curators entrenched in a continuous battle to preserve their right to expression in an unstable era. … Read More

Ongwediva trade fair cancelled

by Tuyeimo Haidula

THE annual Ongwediva trade fair, which was scheduled for 21 to 29 August, has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Photo: File

This was announced today by Jackson Muma, Ongwediva Town Council spokesperson, who said the health and safety of visitors, employees, exhibitors and stakeholders had to be considered.

“It is in the best interest of the public to ensure all active economic sectors and participants in the Ongwediva trade fair join hands in the fight against the spread of the new coronavirus,” he said.

Muma said plans for 2021’s fair are underway as the event … Read More

Covid 19: No cause for panic

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula says there is no need for panic, as the country registered three new Coronavirus cases this week.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula. Photo: MICT

The new cases bring the total confirmed cases to 19. The three new cases were recorded in quarantine, all having travelled from South Africa, meaning they are imported cases.

Case 17 is a 66-year-old Namibian resident. She does not show any Covid-19 symptoms and her condition is stable, Shangula noted.

Case 18, on the other hand, is a 28-year-old Namibian female resident. She too does not show any Covid-19 symptoms.

“The detection of … Read More

Angolan nationals stuck in Namibia

by Ester Mbathera

The Angolan government withdrew from an agreement that would have seen 39 Angolans returning home today.   

Air Namibia has arranged for a repatriation flight scheduled to depart at 07h50 this morning. The airplane left without the Angolan nationals and is scheduled to return tonight from a round trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Tanzania with six Namibians to be airlifted from Luanda.

Photo: Air Namibia

The Namibian embassy in Luanda has reportedly been informed by their host country’s authorities that they are ready to receive their nationals.

The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation … Read More

Schools raring to reopen

by Okeri Ngutjinazo and Roxane Bayer

MINISTER of education, arts and culture Anna Nghipondoka said no new directive has been made on the reopening of schools, despite the announcement of two new Covid-19 cases yesterday.

Minister of education, arts and culture Anna Nghipondoka. Photo: File

The ministry announced last week schools will commence face-to-face classes in phases, with Grades 11 and 12 resuming classes on 3 June.

Phase two will include preprimary to Grade 3 pupils who will begin on 22 June; phase three will see Grades 7 and 9 returning on 6 July, and phase four will send … Read More

Miners blast employers for challenging Govt

by Adam Hartman

THE Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) on Tuesday criticised the Namibian Employers’ Federation (NEF) for dragging the government to court to halt certain Covid-19 labour directives.

Abiud Kapere

The government has ordered that employers may not dismiss workers between 28 March and 2 June, which marks the end of stage 2 of Namibia’s lockdown exit strategy.

In reaction, the NEF and various other employers have filed an urgent application at the High Court against the president, the government and trade unions to have the suspension of parts of the Labour Act during the Covid-19 state of emergency … Read More

Namport offers parking to stranded ships

by Adam Hartman

NAMPORT has announced it will provide berthing (parking) space for empty cruise ships, which are in limbo due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

BIRD’S EYE … An aerial view of Namport’s container terminal at Walvis Bay. Photo: File

Namport’s acting chief executive officer Kavin Harry in a media statement issued on Wednesday said the provision of parking space to the stranded ships was necessary.

“Whereas this is unfortunate, the turn of events, however, presents an opportunity to Namport to provide berthing space for the empty cruise ships off our ports at designated points of anchorage,” he said.

Since … Read More

Kamanjab tackles lack of masks

by Clemans Miyanicwe

THE Kamanjab Village Council has handed over fabric to residents who are to use it for making face masks.

Kamanjab Village Council secretary Bianca Nguaiko hands over fabric to one of the group leaders as material to make masks as the town has no shops that sell them. Photo: Kamanjab Village Council

The village council’s secretary, Bianca Nguaiko, told The Namibian that the council handed over 80 metres of fabric to some locals on Wednesday.

According to Nguaiko it was decided to buy N$4 000 worth of fabric and supply it to residents, to be used to … Read More

Health Update: Namibia reports a 19th Covid-19 case

It involves a 29-year-old Namibian who travelled from South Africa. Health minister Kalumbi Shangula announced the news this morning at the Covid-19 communication centre in Windhoek, saying the patient is in quarantine and will be transferred to an isolation facility today.

“He does not display any symptoms and is in a satisfactory condition,” the minister said.

Kalumbi Shangula

Latest Covid-19 updates in Namibia from the Ministry of Health:

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FP du Toit employees quarantined at Walvis Bay State Hospital

by Ester Mbathera

THE transport giant FP du Toit this afternoon employed the services of a state ambulance to transport two dismissed employees to a state quarantine facility. The employees were dismissed yesterday afternoon after not adhering to quarantine regulations.

The two employees of FP du Toit at the company’s depot where they were quarantined earlier. Photo: Ester Mbathera

This morning another employee was reportedly tasked with transporting his colleagues with a company vehicle, but refused.

The company’s acting manager at their Walvis Bay depot, Callie Schubert, declined to comment on the matter and referred The Namibian to the company’s … Read More

Agribank cuts interest rates

by Nghinomenwa Erastus

THE Agricultural Bank of Namibia will cut interest rates for all clients to cushion the agricultural sector against the impact of Covid-19.

Sakaria Nghikembua. Photo: File

This is part of the relief package backed by a N$200 million guarantee from the government that was announced early in April by finance minister Shiimi Iipumbu.

The N$200 million is part of the N$8,1 billion government stimulus package.

Other interventions include a repayment holiday and the delisting of clients from ITC.

Announcing the package this week, AgriBank’s chief executive officer Sakaria Nghikembua said the bank’s decision to reduce interest rates … Read More

FP du Toit asks staff member to move axed colleagues to quarantine

by Ester Mbathera

An employee of FP du Toit Transport refused to transport two dismissed employees to a government facility where they will stay for the rest of their quarantine period.  Japhet Ndjuluwa and Andreas Hamukwaya were shown the door yesterday for breaking quarantine regulations.

FP du Toit employees Andreas Hamukwaya and Japhet Ndjuluwa who were dismissed yesterday for breaching the quarantine regulations. Photo: Ester Mbathera

The company charged them with gross negligence and breach of security and safety rules.

Jerobeam Kamulu refused to move his colleagues saying he is not trained to transport people to be quarantined, neither has … Read More

Covid-19 Update

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula this morning confirmed Namibia has recorded two new positive Covid-19 cases.

“According to information, the two cases were tested while in quarantine. It therefore means they are imported. Both cases travelled from South Africa,” he said.

Namibia’s Covid-19 Statistics (as of 21 May):

Provided by health minister Kalumbi Shangula.
Read More

Cross-border truck drivers fired for breaking quarantine

by Ester Mbathera

TWO cross-border truck drivers employed by FP du Toit Transport lost their jobs allegedly for breaking quarantine at Walvis Bay on Wednesday.

GROUNDED . . . The trucks used by the two drivers parked in a corner at the FP du Toit depot at Walvis Bay.
Photo: Ester Mbathera

The company charged the two with gross negligence and breach of security and safety rules.

“. . . you ignored direct instructions from the company and the Namibian authorities not to leave the depot. Furthermore, your gross negligent act/omission potentially harmed, not only the company business and image … Read More

Volunteers start educating Kamanjab community on Covid-19

by Clemans Miyanicwe

FOUR volunteers chosen by the National Youth Council started educating residents of Kamanjab on the novel coronavirus disease, Covid-19, on Wednesday.

Volunteers (from left) Bonafatius Tjinyama, Dedrie Jantze, and Alfred Kingslee Hipandulwa alongside the chairperson of the Constituency Youth Forum, Nikodemus Amutenya, in blue jeans. Photo: Clemans Miyanicwe

The Kamanjab Constituency Youth Forum (KCYF) chairperson, Nicodemus Amutenya, applauded the National Youth Council for using local youths to educate the village residents on Covid-19.

Amutenya told The Namibian the volunteers are local residents who know Kamanjab. “The volunteers will educate the residents on Covid-19 so they have knowledge … Read More

Tobacco craving lands SA citizens in jail

by Luqman Cloete

A PLAN by a South African couple to buy cigarettes in Namibia to beat the ban on the sale of alcohol and tobacco products in their country, as part of lockdown regulations, has landed them behind bars.

The //Kharas police crime investigations coordinator, Chrispin  Mubebo, today said police arrested the couple for illegally crossing the border into Namibia at Noordoewer on 11 May.

According to Mubebo, the couple crossed the Orange River on foot in their quest to buy tobacco products and other commodities at Noordoewer.

He said in a separate incident another South African man was … Read More

Opinion: What Image Will Africa Take On After Covid-19?

by Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka

THE Covid-19 pandemic, one of the world’s most significant events, has had far-reaching consequences.

It has resulted in the cessation of economic activities that will lead to a significant decline in production, unprecedented social disruption, and the loss of millions of jobs.

Estimates are that the contraction of the region’s economies will cost Sub-Saharan Africa between US$35 billion and US$100 billion due to a decline in output and a steep drop in commodity prices – especially the crash of oil prices.

More fundamentally, the pandemic has brutally exposed the hollowness of African economies on two fronts: the … Read More

Prices of Covid-19 essentials up 1000%

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE Namibian Competition Commission says there is evidence that retailers overpriced Covid-19 essentials such masks, hand sanitisers, and immune boosting products such as oranges, naartjies and raw ginger.

The commission said the prices of these products increased by betwee 14% and 1000%, despite not being affected by supply chain challenges that could have resulted in shortages.

Namibian Competition Commission (NaCC) corporate communications practitioner Dina //Gowases said in a statement this week that consumers have indicated that they are paying a lot more for these essential products.

“The commission has over the past 4-5 weeks received numerous complaints … Read More

The Covid-19 pandemic around the globe


Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters

United States president Donald Trump threatened on Monday to permanently halt funding for the World Health Organisation if it did not commit to improvements within 30 days, and to reconsider his country’s membership of the agency.

Trump suspended US contributions to the WHO last month, accusing it of promoting Chinese “disinformation” about the novel coronavirus outbreak, although WHO officials denied the accusation and China said it was transparent and open.

“If the WHO does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of … Read More

Live … Reopening of schools in phases

This morning’s panel is discussing the reopening of schools and the return of pupils in phases. Panellists include executive director of education Sanet Steenkamp and Khomas education director Gerard Vries.

Steenkamp said the ministry has been planning pupils’ return to schools. She said 80% of schools are ready to receive pupils.

Sanet Steenkamp

According to her shools have procured soap and tippy taps, and have undergone deep cleaning. The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture will provide funding for schools needing resources, she said.

Steenkamp said children’s health is priority.

She said if a child is sick, he or she … Read More

WHO chief Tedros in the eye of the storm


GENEVA – Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the first African to head the World Health Organisation, faces the towering challenge of coordinating a global pandemic response increasingly complicated by US-China tensions.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Photo: AFP

The former Ethiopian minister of health and foreign affairs finds himself at the heart of global efforts to rein in the novel coronavirus, which has now infected close to five million people and killed more than 300 000.

On Monday, Tedros opened the United Nations health agency’s main annual event, the World Health Assembly, which due to the pandemic was held virtually and has … Read More

Covid-19 information sessions reduced

THE deputy minister of information and communication technology, Emma Theofelus, on Monday announced that the daily updates on Covid-19 are being cut down from two session to one, which will take place daily at 10h00.

From left: Health minister Kalumbi Shangula, deputy prime minister and minister of international relations and cooperation, Netumbo NandiNdaitwah; and deputy minister of information and communication technology Emma Theofelus.
Photo: MICT

The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Services on 2 April formed a communication focal point centre to distribute information on issues around … Read More

Home affairs stresses guidelines on public gatherings

ON account of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration has reiterated the guidelines relating to public gatherings.

The restrictions are part of measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

A media statement made available to Nampa on Monday said the country is still under a state of emergency, therefore, as part of the guidelines by the ministry on account of Covid-19; designated marriage officers (ministers of religion and magistrates) who solemnise marriages are advised to ensure that the regulations prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people are adhered to.

The statement also noted that … Read More

Old Mutual donates food to vulnerable communities in Kunene

OLD Mutual Namibia on Tuesday donated food parcels to vulnerable communities in the Kunene region as part of its countrywide N$1-million food delivery outreach project in the fight against Covid-19.

Old Mutual has on Tuesday donated for parcels to vulnerable communities in the Kunen region. OLD Mutual’s national sales manager for North and Far North, Nikanor Ruben hands over food parcels to Kunene governor Marius Sheya.
Photo: Uakutura Kambaekua/Nampa

An amount of more than N$95 000 was used to buy 291 food parcels which amongst others contain maize meal, tinned fish, beans and sugar to be handed over to communities … Read More

Schools to resume in June

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

THE ministry of education today said schools will begin with face to face classes in phases, with grade 11 and 12 resuming classes on 3 June.

Photo: File

The ministry’s executive director Sanet Steenkamp said in a statement that phase two will include grade three pupils who will begin on 22 June, phase three will be grades seven and nine on 6 July, and finally phase four which will include grade four, five, six and eight, resuming classes on 20 July.

All pupils will end classes on 18 December.

Steenkamp said a mid-term break for teachers is … Read More

The Covid-19 pandemic around the globe


GENEVA – South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, said yesterday that Africa affirms its “full support” for the World Health Organisation (WHO), which he said had been key in guiding the international response to the coronavirus pandemic.

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: Reuters

Ramaphosa, speaking to the WHO’s annual assembly being held online, said assistance to Africa needs to include debt relief and help with diagnostics, drugs and medical supplies.

Also addressing the meeting, the United States’ secretary of health and human services, Alex Azar, accused the WHO of having failed to share … Read More

WHO chief promises review of virus response

by Stephanie Nebehay and Emma Farge

GENEVA – The World Health Organisation said yesterday that an independent review of the global coronavirus response would begin as soon as possible, and received backing and a hefty pledge of funds from China, in the spotlight as the origin of the pandemic.

FRONT LINE … Bhelekazi Mdlalose, a nurse employed by the international medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), collects a sample to be tested for the novel coronavirus from a health worker at a clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. Nampa–AFP

WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made his promise during … Read More

Covid-19 death speculation dismissed

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

THE Ministry of Health and Social Services says the man who died at Mariental State Hospital on Friday did not succumb to Covid-19.

Esther Muinjangue

The Namibian reported online on Saturday that the man, who was employed by Namibia Wildlife Resort, and was based at its Hardap resort near Mariental, had sought treatment at the local hospital after experiencing flu-like symptoms and breathing difficulties.

According to sources, the man collapsed and died shortly after being taken to an isolation unit following a medical check-up.

Speaking at the Covid-19 communication centre in Windhoek yesterday, deputy health minister Esther … Read More

Possible Covid-19 death investigated at Mariental

by Luqman Cloete

A Mariental resident yesterday died under suspicion of being positive for Covid-19.

Sources said the man, who was an employee of the Namibia Wildlife Resort (NWR) and based at its Hardap resort near Mariental, sought medical treatment at the local hospital after experiencing flu-like symptoms and breathing difficulties.

According to sources, the man collapsed and died shortly after he was taken to an isolation unit following a medical check.

Speculations are rife the man might have contracted the disease at the Hardap resort.

The Hardap resort recently served as accommodation for 40 people who came from Europe … Read More

Health faced with disease control challenges amid Covid-19

by Charmaine Ngatjihueue

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula says his ministry is faced with challenges of having to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak while tackling  existing health problems at the same time.

Kalumbi Shangula

Speaking at the Covid-19 communication centre in Windhoek this morning, Shangula said diseases such as hepatitis E and malaria are still persisting in Namibia to date.

He said the control of hepatitis E greatly benefited from the interventions against Covid-19 and the country is now reporting fewer cases.

“Malaria is another disease of great health importance. This year, Namibia experienced good rain and we are now seeing … Read More

No funds for hawkers market

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

The Rehoboth Town Council says it does not have the money needed to build a suitable market for hawkers and street vendors at the town to use.

A breakdown of the projected costs indicates that the council would need N$656 880 for an open market which would include 20 stalls and provide for basic hygiene and sanitation standards and the required social distancing.

While discussing measures in place to address Covid-19 and economic hardships of local authorities on Tuesday afternoon, a local economic development officer of the council, Jonathan Ockhuizen, said they have identified two suitable areas … Read More

Salt company keeps going through virus lockdown

by Taati Niilenge

The salt producer Walvis Bay Salt Refiners has continued to operate and make salt for domestic use and export during Namibia’s Covid-19 fight.

With salt production classified as part of essential services, and a demand from all over the world for the salt it produces, the company has been kept in business since restrictions to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus in Namibia came into force near the end of March.

“We are grateful to have been allowed to operate during the stage 1 lockdown,” the managing director of the company, Andre Snyman, said at a … Read More

Nama festival postponed due to Covid-19

by Luqman Cloete

The annual Nama Cultural Festival has been postponed for a year. The event was scheduled to take place from 21 to 24 May.

The festival organising committee chairperson, David Eigub, in a press statement issued yesterday announced that this year’s event will be cancelled and postponed to May 2021 due to the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus and the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As organisers of one of the biggest cultural events in southern Africa we cannot understate the importance of ensuring full compliance with the precautionary measures put in place by the Namibian government and the Namibian … Read More

Nam clarifies border crossing for Angolans needing medical help

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

Health ministry deputy executive director Petronella Masabane says it is a long-standing arrangement for Angolan citizens to seek medical treatment in Namibia, especially for chronic medication.

BORDERS …. Health ministry’s deputy executive director Petronella Masabane and chief of immigration at the home affairs ministry Nehemiah Nghishekwa.

She said this at the Covid-19 communication centre in Windhoek on Tuesday, while giving clarity on Angolan nationals seeking medical care in Namibia.

She said this arrangement remains in place, with Angolans making use of designated border posts to enter Namibia, but noted that the Namibia-Angola border is still being crossed … Read More

Calls to boost job creation

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

ANALYSTS are calling on the government to stimulate production sectors such as agriculture, mining, and tourism and hospitality to create employment post-Covid-19.

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER HUSTLE … Unemployed residents gather at traffic lights all over Windhoek daily with the hope of securing any kind of job to earn some much-needed cash. Most of the men wear blue overalls and are ready to do hard labour. Photo: Garwin Beukes

This comes after the Ministry of Labour last week announced 543 people at 10 companies have been retrenched during the lockdown.

The retrenchments took place between 27 March and … Read More

Only the needy must get aid – Tjongarero

MINISTER of sport, youth and national service, Agnes Tjongarero said “only those who really need” should get food aid during the Covid-19 pandemic.

FEED … The food parcels that will be distributed to those adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic were delivered to the Usakos Town Council on Thursday. Receiving the food were, from left, sports minister Agnes Tjongarero, Erongo governor Neville André Itope, and Usakos mayor Akser Mwafangeyo

She was speaking at the handover of emergency food parcels at Usakos last Friday. The food parcels were acquired by a group calling themselves Sons and Daughters of Usakos who raised … Read More

Coronavirus news briefs: 84 Namibians return from SA

MINISTER of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula yesterday said 84 Namibians returned home from South Africa on Saturday and are in quarantine.

A total of 36 came from Cape Town and 48 from Johannesburg. Shangula said seven of the returnees are kept in Windhoek, while the remainder are in various quarantine facilities in the regions – all at the government’s expense.

“The government has made substantive investments in prevention as we believe it is cheaper to prevent the disease than to treat it,” he said.

Nanso launches food aid programme

THE Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) on Friday launched … Read More

Live (Ended) … Updates on Emergency Income Grant payments

Speaking at the Covid-19 Communication Centre in Windhoek this morning, finance ministry spokesperson Tonateni Shidhudhu said the application process for the Emergency Income Grant was designed for Namibians in possession of national documents.

Those without documents do not qualify for the grant.

Shidhudhu said they have targeted 739 000 people for the grant and have received 900 700 applications, of which 576 000 have been approved and processed for payment.

The application period closed on 30 April midnight, but Shidhudhu said the ministry provided three extra days to accommodate applicants who had to reapply. He said lines also closed on … Read More

Health minister announces 10 recoveries

by Ndanki Kahiurika

Dr Kalumbi Shangula, minister of health and social services, this morning at the Covid-19 Communication Centre announced Namibia now has 10 recoveries from the 16 confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Kalumbi Shangula

“The effect of how we conduct ourselves in stage 2 will become apparent in the weeks to come. Let us endure this pain in order to experience the joy of tomorrow,” said Shangula.

So far, 1 511 people have been tested and the country has zero deaths.
According to the World Health Organisation, there are 3,8 million confirmed cases globally, with 268 000 deaths.

In Africa, South … Read More

Coronavirus briefs: NaTIS offices reopen countrywide

THE Roads Authority (RA) has announced that all NaTIS offices countrywide will reopen on 11 May.

Photo: Nampa

Motor vehicle licences will be attended to when offices reopen and all licences that expired during the lockdown (between 30 March and 30 April) will not incur penalties. However, licences that expired before or on 29 February will incur penalties up to the date of the start of the lockdown. NaTIS offices will also renew driver’s and learner’s licences, and test applicants whose documents expired during the lockdown. This will only be done from 11 May to 26 May. New applications for … Read More

Public transport operators warned against excessive pricing

by Hileni Nembwaya

THE Ministry of Works and Transport has issued a stern warning to all public transport operators to desist from taking advantage of the Covid-19 crisis by increasing fares.

File photo.

In a press release minister John Mutorwa said excessive pricing is illegal and any operator who is guilty of this will be legally dealt with.

“The ministry has learnt some operators…are charging customers and commuters in excess of the prescribed tariffs in respect of the various routes, throughout the country. The ministry would like to earnestly request all operators to cease from such practice as the right … Read More

Live (Ended) … Challenges with E-Learning development for education ministry

This morning’s panellists at the Covid-19 Communication Centre will address the issue of e-learning development by the education ministry.

From left: The panelists are deputy information minister Emma Theofelus (moderator), Namibia College for Opening Learning (Namcol) deputy curriculum development director Jan Nitschke and education ministry information technology deputy director Johan van Wyk.
Photo: Charmaine Ngatjiheue

Nitschke says distance education students are more advantaged than full-time students as they receive all study material when they register. He said face-to-face classes have been disrupted, but Namcol has seen to it that learning sessions reach students. He said they can listen to sessions … Read More

Prank calls to Covid-19 call centre a nuisance

by Ndanki Kahiurika

PARENTS have been advised to keep their children from prank calling the Covid-19 call centre.

This was said during a discussion at the communication centre for Covid-19 updates, in Windhoek yesterday afternoon.

Head of the Covid-19 call centre, Lineekela Kalimba said they have experienced a lot of challenges despite trying to fulfil their mandate of advising and answering questions from the public on Covid-19 related matters.

She said the centre was initially set up by the health ministry during the hepatitis E outbreak and has since upgraded to tackle future outbreaks including Covid-19.

Most volunteers manning the … Read More

Coronavirus briefs: De Beers donates testing equipment

DE BEERS Group donated a Covid-19 testing machine to the government as part of the N$15 million it committed to fighting the new coronavirus outbreak.

(L-R) Daniel Kali De Beers Resident Director, Minister of Health and Social Services Kalumbi Shangula and Debmarine Chief Executive Officer Otto Shikongo pictured in front of the Namibia Institute of Pathology building were Shangula received two machines from De Beers Group to be used for COVID-19 testing.
Photo: Contributed/Nampa

The machine, a LineGene 9600 Plus model, was delivered to the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) in Windhoek yesterday. Minister of health and social services Kalumbi … Read More

Live (Ended) … Impact of Covid-19 on productivity

This morning’s discussion at the Covid-19 Communication Centre is on the impact of the pandemic on productivity. Panellists are Daan Strauss of the Namibian Employers Federation, deputy director of labour market information David Iigonda, and National Union of Namibian Workers’ Job Muniaro.

Daan Strauss. Photo: MICT

NEF Secretary General Strauss said there was a lack of business continuity plans and measuring productivity of those staff working from home. He added that adapting to working remotely was also effected and the psychological aspect and fears of livelihoods and economy which had to be dealt with by employers.

He said working remotely … Read More

Zero alcohol during lockdown Stage 2

by Ester Mbathera

RETAILERS have had to stop the sale of alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of less than 3% from today until the end of Stage 2 of Namibia’s Covid-19 lockdown period on 2 June.

Zero alcohol during lockdown Stage 2. Photo: Adobe Stock

New state of emergency regulations applying during Stage 2 of the lockdown period are prohibiting the sale and purchase of all alcoholic drinks, regardless of the level of alcohol they contain. The new regulations were published in the Government Gazette on Monday.

According to the Liquor Act of 1998, liquor is defined as “any … Read More

School premises not ready for teachers – unions

UNIONS say schools reopening for teachers was a rushed decision as some of the schools’ premises are in a deplorable state and do not adhere to standards to combat the spread of Covid-19.

SCHOOL READINESS … from left: Nantu’s Naftal Shigwedha, TUN’s Toini Nauyoma and education ministry’s Knox Imbuwa. Photo: Charmaine Ngatjiheue

Speaking at the Covid-19 Communication Centre this afternoon, unions said teachers’ working environment has always been a concern and the pandemic has enhanced the issue.

Representing the Namibia National Teachers Union (Nantu), Naftal Shigwedha said regional structures are monitoring the situation of schools reopening for teachers.

Shigwedha said … Read More

Live (Ended) … Education and learning during the Covid-19 State of Emergency

This morning’s discussion at the Covid-19 Communication Centre is on the continuation of teaching and learning in stage 2 of lockdown. Panellists are basic education minister Anna Nghipondoka and basic education executive director Sanet Steenkamp.

Nghipondoka reiterated that schools reopened on 20 April, but teachers are working remotely to ensure education and learning continue through alternative means. She said pupils could learn both online, offline and with printed material.

Nghipondoka says her ministry’s staff can now physically go back to school unless they are considered vulnerable and this is confirmed by a physician. She said pupils will remain at home. … Read More

Coronavirus briefs: Schools to reopen on 3 August

SCHOOLS around the country are expected to reopen on 3 August for pupils to return to face-to-face education.

Photo: File

Education executive director Sanet Steenkamp made the announcement on Friday, adding schools are expected to open in Stage 3 of the state of emergency that was announced by president Hage Geingob. According to Steenkamp, all schools should follow guidelines to ensure the safety of children, teachers and staff members. Steenkamp said all staff members of the ministry, including teachers, hostel staff and cleaners, are expected to report for duty between today and 11 May. The government has in the meantime … Read More

N$2 000 for not wearing a mask

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

MEMBERS of the public who are found without a mask in public will be fined N$2 000 or face six months’ imprisonment. This according to stage 2 regulations.

MASKED … A reporter wears a mask after attending a press conference. Masks must be worn in public at all times as per Stage 2 regulations of the Covid-19 State of Emergency. Photo: Yokany Oliveira

During this stage of exiting the national Covid-19 lockdown all Namibians must wear a mask in a public place.

“An authorised officer may instruct a person who is not wearing a mask to wear … Read More

Shifeta launches conservation relief fund

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

TOURISM minister Pohamba Shifeta this morning launched a conservation relief, recovery and resilience facility aimed at addressing the long-term impact of Covid-19 on conservancies.

CONSERVATION FUNDING … From left: Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta, Nedbank’s acting managing director Richard Meeks, UNDP’s resident representative Alka Bhatia and EIF chief executive officer Benedict Libanda.

The Environmental Investment Fund will run the facility in addition to the N$6 million it committed.

Speaking at the Covid-19 Communication Centre this morning, Shifeta said the total amount committed to the facility stands at N$16 million, and his ministry is engaging other stakeholders to also … Read More

Live (Ended) … Conservation relief and recovery amid Covid-19 restrictions in Namibia

To support the tourism sector and in addressing the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on this sector, experts this morning will be launching a conservation relief, recovery and resilient facility at the Covid-19 Communication Centre in Windhoek.

The panelists this morning are Nedbank’s managing director Richard Meeks, tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta, UNDP’s resident representative Alka Bhatia and the Environmental Investment Fund’s chief executive officer Benedict Libanda. Photo: Charmaine Ngatjiheue

Deputy health minister Esther Muinjangue says confirmed Covid-19 cases still stand at 16, with eight recoveries.

So far 1 163 tests have been conducted, she said at the Covid-19 Communication … Read More

Daily update, 4 May … Medical officers discuss the safety of masks

Video: Okeri Ngutjinazo

Panellists at the Covid-19 daily updated on Monday morning discussed the dos and don’ts of masks. Included on the panel were technical medical officer Dr Apollo Basenero and WHO medical officer Mary Brantuo.

Basenero explained that reusable masks should be washed and ironed to ensure they are clean.

Brantuo said guidelines about layering and material used should be followed for reusable masks. It should be approved by health authorities before being allowed for use. She says masks are important to use as we interact with people outside our homes, such as at shopping malls and at work.… Read More

LIVE (Ended) … Discussion: Road to Recovery

Panelists discussing the ‘Road to Recovery’ at the Covid-19 daily update on Saturday morning.
Photo Charmaine Ngatjiheue

This morning’s panelists at the Covid-19  communication centre will discuss the road to recovery and the perspective of a recovered patient.

The panelists are health minister Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, Dr Nelao Amagulu, who was herself quarantined, and director of primary health care in the health ministry Naemi Shoopala.

Shangula says there are no new confirmed positive Covid-19 cases in Namibia since 5 April 2020. He says the drastic measures the government has taken has managed to contain Covid-19 transmissions.

Giving information on the … Read More

Second Namibian tests positive for Covid-19 in Zambia

A second Namibian lorry driver is confirmed to have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Zambia.

The two drivers who have tested positive for the virus in Zambia are employed by two different truck companies in Namibia.

Namibia’s high commissioner to Zambia, Sivave Haindongo, reported the second positive test result of a Namibian lorry driver in Zambia in a letter addressed to the international relations ministry’s executive director, Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, today

Haindongo stated that from the information provided to the diplomatic mission, the first case involves a 42-year-old man now in isolation in Zambia. Haindongo reported that the driver … Read More

Namibia to reopen economy … moves to ‘stage two’, post-lockdown

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

PRESIDENT Hage Geingob this afternoon announced that Namibia would gradually reopen from Tuesday next week, as the country moves into stage two of adopted restrictions meant to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus.

President Hage Geingob

Announcing post-lockdown strategies at State House this afternoon (Thursday), Geingob said the adopted restrictions are in line with global guidelines on national responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following the coronavirus outbreak, Namibia reported 16 confirmed infections with the virus, with eight cases still being active. The country’s number of infections has remained static on 16 since 5 April.

Namibia has … Read More

LIVE (Ended) … Lockdown Announcement

LOCKDOWN … President Hage Geingob says Namibia’s prompt action to close borders and restricted movement has helped contain the spread of the disease. He said the measures were necessary and effective, calling on Namibians to adhere to set regulations.

Speaking at State House this afternoon, Geingob said the countrywide lockdown would lapse on 5 May 2020. Some restrictions would be relaxed in line with that.

The president further said the state of emergency would remain for another six months. He added that in line with that, Namibia has adopted four stages of the current situation; stage one, which is the … Read More

LIVE (Ended) … Update on 28 April Cabinet decisions

Information minister Peya Mushelenga gives an update on the decisions taken during a Cabinet meeting yesterday.

Touching on open markets reopening, Mushelenga says the reopened informal markets should adhere to health standards set once open, and should keep in mind the regulations set in line with the state of emergency that is in place.

Moreover, Mushelenga said emergency income grant beneficiaries should not apply for food grants as well. He said the construction of a 12-bed isolation facility at Windhoek Central Hospital has been completed and the facility is ready to be used.

Mushelenga added that the government is yet … Read More

Confusion over Zim, Nam Covid-19 test kits donation

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

CONFUSION is reigning supreme over a donation of 4 500 Covid-19 rapid-test kits Namibia allegedly made to Zimbabwe.

Earlier this week, Zimbabwean vice-president Kembo Mohadi confirmed to Newsday, a Zimbabwean daily newspaper, the receipt of the test kits from Namibia.

Zimbabwe’s minister of information and broadcasting services Monica Mutsvangwa corroborated his sentiments to a Namibian daily.

However, Mutsvangwa, who previously lived in Namibia, made an about-turn to The Namibian today saying there was no such donation.

“There was no donation from the Namibian government,” Mutsvangwa said though she earlier confirmed the donation to a Namibian daily on … Read More

Live (Ended) … Deployment of health professionals on Covid-19

COVID-19 UPDATE: Deputy health minister Esther Utjiua Muinjangue says there are seven Covid-19 recoveries so far and still 16 confirmed cases. She says panellists will discuss the deployment of healthcare professionals in the fight against the pandemic so far.

Bertha Katjivena, deputy executive director of health, is discussing the importance of the deployment of healthcare professionals at the Covid-19 Communication Centre this morning. She is joined by deputy director of health Anna Isaacs and moderator Tutu Haukena.

Bertha Katjivena

Deputy executive director of health Bertha Katjivena says the ministry is currently recruiting medical graduates as a temporary measure to fight … Read More

Live (Ended) … EU Grant to Namibia

Information minister Peya Mushelenga says Namibia had engaged the European Union to find the best way of fighting Covid-19. He was speaking at the Covid-19 Communication Centre (CCC) on Friday discussing the N$172 million EU grant to Namibia for the Covid-19 fight.

From left: NPC’s Ned Sibeya, information minister Peya Mushelenga and EU delegation ambassador Sinikka Antila. Photo: Charmaine Ngatjiheue

Mushelenga said the funds would release the fiscus of a huge budget.

EU ambassador to Namibia Sinikka Antisa said the funds are general budget support and a very particular type of support.

She said the N$172 million will be put … Read More

Covid-19 test uncomfortable but necessary – journalists

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

SOME of the journalists who have undergone Covid-19 testing described the process as uncomfortable but important.

TESTED … Samples are taken from journalist Shelleygan Petersen to be tested for Covid-19. Photo: MICT

Samples were taken from journalists who took part in testing after the health ministry announced its plan to test 200 000 people.

The targeted testing initiative aims to test people with respiratory issues, people who congregate in groups, and journalists who are exposed. Tests were conducted at the Robert Mugabe Clinic and was done to rule out community transmission.

Namibia has had no new infections, … Read More

Coronavirus briefs: Irimari urges continuous education on Covid-19

OSHANA regional governor Elia Irimari, yesterday encouraged the Task Force on Covid-19 in his region to continue educating members of the public why they should remain in their houses and refrain from moving around.

Elia Irimari

He was speaking at the handing over of 2 000 litres of hand sanitiser by the Rani Group to the Oshana regional task force at Ongwediva. Irimari stressed that incidents of overcrowding observed at certain places in the region cannot be tolerated.

Nudo dishes out food parcels
THE National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) handed over N$10 000 worth of food parcels to homeless Namibians … Read More

LIVE (Ended) … Namibia’s health sector and preparedness for Covid-19

Speaking at the Covid-19 information centre in Windhoek on Thursday, health ministry executive director Ben Nangombe says Namibia still has the best health infrastructure compared to other African countries, despite some challenges.

Ben Nangombe

Nangombe is speaking with fellow panellist Thomas Mbeeli, acting director of health technology and infrastructure management, on the preparedness of the ministry of health for Covid-19.

Namibia has one main referral hospital, three intermediate hospitals, 31 district hospitals, 43 health centers and 279 clinics.

He said the Windhoek Central Hospital casualty is being used as a ICU facility for infectious diseases, a 12 bed facility has … Read More

Coronavirus briefs: Unam and Cardiff University donate blankets

THE University of Namibia, in collaboration with the Phoenix Project from Cardiff University in Wales, on Tuesday donated 3 000 bars of soap and 80 blankets to the 95 people in temporary shelters during the lockdown.

An entrance to the University of Namibian campus in Windhoek. Photo: File

The donation, which was handed over in Windhoek, is for dwellers at the Khomasdal Stadium and 72 at the Pionierspark dumpsite. Temba Stevens, who is sheltered at the Khomasdal Stadium, thanked those responsible for the donation, saying they are grateful for the food and information they have been receiving. Stevens asked what … Read More

Toll-free number gets 360 000 calls

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

OVER 360 000 calls have been made to the Covid-19 toll-free number, which was set up by the ministry of health to assist with answering questions, receiving complaints and addressing concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over 360 000 calls have been made to the Covid-19 toll-free number. Photo: Arlana Shikongo

The number was set up after the country confirmed its first two coronavirus cases on 13 March. Namibia currently has 16 confirmed cases and six recoveries. Head of the call centre, Lineekela Kalimba said they have received 360 200 calls to date, however, when they started, they … Read More

LIVE (Ended) … Covid-19 impact on Agriculture

EXPERTS in the agricultural sector will this morning discuss the impact of Covid-19 on the agricultural sector. Similar to tourism, agriculture is one of the sectors hit the hardest by the pandemic.

From left: Namibia National Farmers Union acting executive director Beata Xulu, agriculture ministry executive director Percy Misika and the Namibia Agricultural Union executive manager Roelie Venter. Photo: Charmaine Ngatjiheue

Speaking at the at the Covid-19 Communication Centre, Percy Misika said the tough times faced by the agricultural sector is not as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, but rather the devastating three-year drought Namibia has had to face.… Read More

LIVE (Ended) … Trade activities under lockdown – Panel discussion

Trade minister Lucia Iipumbu says the government has revisited one of its restrictions of the lockdown and decided to open up shops not only to provide clothing and other materials for expectant mothers and their babies, but also to provide winter clothing and other materials such as blankets as winter approaches. Iipumbu said this at the Covid-19 Communication Centre on Wednesday afternoon.

Lucia Iipumbu

She added that the ministry has already drafted letters to retailers to open winter clothing sections, especially for children. These shops are expected to open their winter clothing sections by tomorrow or by the time they’ve … Read More

Coronavirus briefs … FNB provides relief to SMEs

FNB Namibia has announced relief measures for SMEs with an annual turnover of less than N$10 million and with lending facilities of less than N$5 million.

To qualify, customers must have a good track record of honouring their payments prior to 1 March 2020. Qualifying businesses are requested to go to the FNB app, click on the Covid-19 icon and follow instructions. Commercial customers are requested to contact their relationship manager to discuss requirements.

Regional councillors no longer allowed to issue travel permits
FROM 20 April regional councillors will not be allowed to issue travel permits during the state of … Read More

SSC stimulus package for labour sector

by Ndanki Kahiurika

TO prevent job losses, the Social Security Commission, in conjunction with the government, will launch a stimulus package during the state of emergency.

Milka Mungunda

Milka Mungunda, the SSC’s chief, announced this at the Covid-19 Communication Centre where panellists are discussing the impact of the virus on labour and employment.

Mungunda said the package will cater for both formal and informal sector employees, who contribute monthly to the SSC, as well as for those not registered with the commission.

According to information gathered, Covid-19 affects nine areas of the economy severely.

This includes farming, manufacturing, entertainment, construction … Read More

//Kharas police on lockdown education drive

by Luqman Cloete

THE //Kharas police have taken the initiative to ensure the public is made aware of restrictions on Covid-19 movements through the use of megaphones.

HIGH TRAFFIC VOLUME … High traffic volumes were still observed at Keetmanshoop where the local police have set up a roadblock to enforce the stay-at-home directive. Photo: Luqman Cloete

Police regional commander, commissioner David Indongo on Monday said the initiative was to educate the public to stay at home as part of efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19.

“We educate people to only leave their homes for essential and urgent matters,” he … Read More

Cold start to Covid-19 mass testing

A Gauteng Health Department official conducts a swab test on a resident of Stjwetla Section in Alexandra township on March 31, 2020. Photo: Phill Magakoe /AFP)

THE targeted testing initiative, which aims to test some 200 000 people for the coronavirus, has had a cold start as only 20 people were tested on the first day of the exercise.

The purpose of the exercise is to detect possible community transmission of the virus.

The health ministry on Sunday announced that targeted testing would be done on people who present themselves to healthcare facilities with respiratory ailments, health workers, mobile groups … Read More

LIVE (Ended) … ‘There should be no dismissals’

Deputy health minister Esther Muinjangue this morning at the Covid-19 Communication Centre said the ministry has traced 118 contacts for confirmed coronavirus cases.

“We are currently monitoring eight of them until they finish their 14 days of quarantine,” she said.

She urged people to stay home and not move around too much.

The panel this morning consists of the advisor to the labour minister, Vicky ya Toivo, labour minister Utoni Nujoma and chief executive officer of the Social Security Commission, Milka Mungunda.

The trio discussed the impact of Covid-19 on labour and employment.

Ya Toivo said no employee should be … Read More

Coronavirus briefs … Sanlam pledges N$3,5m to flatten the curve

SANLAM Namibia and its subsidiaries Welwitschia Insurance Brokers and Sanlam Investments have pledged N$3,5 million to support various initiatives to fight the spread of Covid-19.

Photo: Nampa

An amount of N$500 000 will go towards procuring protective wear and equipment for health workers, N$500 000 towards sanitation infrastructure, another N$500 000 towards the National Covid-19 Fund, N$1 million to e-learning and education, N$800 000 for testing and screening equipment, and the last N$200 000 will go to the construction of nurses’ and doctors’ workstations, where testing will be undertaken.

Paying it forward
A GROUP of Namibians, forming the Paying It … Read More

Fishing group reaches out to employees

by Staff Reporter

THE Oceana Namibia Group is making sure its employees who have to continue working during the Covid-19 lockdown and their families remain sustained.

RELIEF … Employees of the Oceana Namibia Group of Companies and their families received food parcels recently to ensure everyone is taken care of during the national lockdown. Photo: Contributed

The group has a long history of operating in the Namibian fishing industry through its subsidiaries Erongo Marine Enterprises (EME) and Commercial Cold Storage (CCS), and its associate company Etosha Fishing Corporation.

The group provides permanent jobs to more than 1 000 Namibians.

“We … Read More

LIVE (Ended) … Economic hardships of local authorities during Covid-19

City of Windhoek chief executive Robert Kahimise says they have set up a response team committee headed by city police chief Abraham Kanime. Kahimise says the municipality’s operations have been impacted by Covid-19.

Robert Kahimise

The majority of employees providing essential services, and front line staff are provided with personal protective equipment. The municipality plans on opening cash halls for three days from Wednesday where residents can make payments.

Kahimise says they have no other option, because some people refuse to deposit money. The municipality has over 300 000 employees and receives a budget of N$4,3 billion. They are considering … Read More

LIVE (Ended) … Covid-19 update

HEALTH WORKERS … Panellists, health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula (centre) and World Health Organisation country representative Dr Charles Sagoe Moses (left), discussing the protection of health workers amid the Covid-19 outbreak this afternoon. Health ministry spokesperson Manga Libita moderates the session.

Chairperson of the Public Enterprises CEO Forum Rosalia Martins-Hausiku says the forum is donating N$1,2 million to the health ministry and the Namibian Police towards the Covid-19 fight. She says the donation is the forum’s way of meeting the government halfway.

Martins-Hausiku said this at a press briefing at the Covid-19 communication centre today.

Police inspector general Sebastian Ndeitunga … Read More

Covid-19 case one ‘re-infected’

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula says the first Covid-19 case involving the Romanian couple at one point tested negative for the virus, but later tested positive. The health care officials suspect re-infection.

The Romanian nationals, who came to Namibia through Spain, were diagnosed with Covid-19 on 13 March.

Speaking at the Covid-19 Communication Centre this afternoon, Shangula said case one tested positive again because the patient shared a room with the spouse (case two), who was still positive.

The minister noted that the re-infection issue is not new and is well-documented in other countries.

“The first two cases involve … Read More

WHO donates PPE to Namibia

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE World Health Organisation donated personal protective equipment (PPE) to Namibia.

PPE … From left: WHO country representative Dr. Charles Sagoe Moses, health minister Kalumbi Shangula and health ministry spokesperson and moderator Manga Libita. Photo: Charmaine Ngatjiheue

WHO country representative Charles Sagoe Moses presented the PPE to health minister Kalumbi Shangula at the Covid-19 communication centre on Monday afternoon.

“We have enough PPE in terms of gloves, face masks, and they can take care of over 1 000 health workers. We want them to be assured that their needs are protected. If they are not safe, then … Read More

Covid-19: Acid test for media sustainability

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE media sector has not been spared the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The media sector is also feeling the pinch of a stagnant economy. Photo: Pixabay

As the country enters the extended phase of the national lockdown, the media is also feeling the pinch of a stagnant economy.

Namibia still has 16 confirmed coronavirus cases, with six reported recoveries.

Media experts concede that although the Covid-19 pandemic worsened the situation, a bleak outlook has already been on the horizon for the sector as a result of technological advancements.

Speaking at the Covid-19 Communication Centre in … Read More

Coronavirus briefs: NamPower assists Karibib, Omaruru with water tanks

NAMPOWER donated eight 10 000 litre water tanks to assist the local authorities of Omaruru and Karibib with providing people in informal settlements with water.

Omaruru received two water tanks to be shared between the informal settlements of Hakahana, 7de Laan, Sonskyn and Saamstaan. Six tanks were given to the Harambee and Uis informal settlements in Karibib.
Filling up the tanks is reportedly the responsibility of the local authorities.

NamPower will also donate 30 dry sanitation toilets to the Erongo region, which will be delivered next week.

NASRIA donates to ministry of health
NAMIBIA Special Risks Insurance Association (Nasria) made … Read More

Coronavirus ‘fake news’ now a crime

by Werner Menges

THE spreading of fake news about the new coronavirus and Covid-19 is now a crime in Namibia, following an amendment to the Covid-19 state of emergency regulations.

In terms of amendments to the regulations, published in the Government Gazette on Friday, people publishing any false or misleading statement in connection with the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), including on social media, are committing an offence for which they can be fined up to N$2 000 or be given a prison term of up to six months.

It is also now an offence to publish any statement in the media, … Read More

Live … Social mobilisation and community engagement (Ended)

Deputy health minister Esther Muinjangue says there are no new confirmed Covid-19 cases. There are currently six recoveries and 10 active cases who are asymptomatic.

Esther Muinjangue

The deputy minister said the ministry has started rolling out testing for those under quarantine and 160 people have been tested. The ministry will further conduct testing at the Covid-19 Communication Centre this week.

Muinjangue says the reason for social mobilisation is to keep community members informed and updated on Covid-19 issues. She said community health workers are provided with a tool kit to guide them on what to focus on when informing … Read More

Large-scale Covid-19 testing planned

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula says a part of Covid-19 tests targeting 200 000 people would be conducted at the coronavirus pendemic communication centre in Windhoek on Monday.

Photo Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Shangula said on Sunday that people at the centre are recommended to take the test. People whose samples would be taken at the centre do not need to self-isolate while waiting for their test results, he added.

He said the tests not only target the media, fishing and mining sectors, but also target areas with large groups of people such as open markets.

“In fact we have … Read More

Govt launches targeted testing for essential workers

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

NAMIBIA will launch targeted testing for highly exposed professions, including the mining, fisheries and media sectors on Monday.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula confirmed the move over the weekend, saying it will give a true assessment of whether there are any cases of community spread.

He says the government hopes to test 200 000 Namibians.
“We are now moving foward to a level of targeted testing where we will identify certain exposed groups including mining, fisheries as well as journalist. The targeted testing will continue until we are satisfied with the responses on the ground,” he said.
Widespread … Read More

LIVE (ended) … Covid-19 Update

Kalumbi Shangula

Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula says the country officially has six recoveries of the 16 confirmed covid-19 cases. The cases are three, five, six, 14, 15 and case number 16.

He says they hope to test 200 000 Namibians, which will include key groups such as those working in the mining, fishing, health and media sectors.

Shangula is speaking at the daily covid-19 communication centre at the Khomas Regional Council head office in Windhoek.

The panel, which consists of attorney general Festus Mbandeka, justice minister Yvonne Dausab, will today discuss the legalities of the lockdown extension.

Dausab said … Read More

Last arriving passengers not quarantined – Shangula

by Yokany Oliveira

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula said several groups of people who arrived before the initial lockdown became effective last month were not put under full quarantine.

Kalumbi Shangula

Shangula told The Namibian on Wednesday that the group of passengers who arrived on 26 March at the Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek “refused to be quarantined”.

A total of 86 passengers arrived that day, according to Shangula.

“The group at HKIA was uncooperative and refused to be quarantined. That time we did not have Proclamation Number 9 in place,” he said.

The State of Emergency Proclamation Act 9 … Read More

Community transmission Covid-19 cases suspected

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE national coordinator of the Covid-19 task force, Bernard Haufiku, says they suspect there are undetected cases of Covid-19 community transmission in the country.

TRANSMISSIONS… from left: Who representative Petrus Mhata; NIP COO Bonnie Makumbi and the COVID-19 national coordinator Bernard Haufiku.

Speaking at the Covid-19 communication centre yesterday afternoon, Haufiku said scientifically it is not possible for Namibia to not have recorded any new cases for the past 10 days.

“It could be the fact that we are not testing enough people is the reason why we have no new cases reported. However, Namibia is following … Read More

BREAKING … Namibia extends Covid-19 lockdown period (State House)

President Hage Geingob

PRESIDENT Hage Geingob has announced that the Covid-19 lockdown will be extended from midnight on Friday, 17 April, to midnight on 4 May. The president said the country will effectively re-open on 5 May; movement within the whole country will be restricted until then.

Geingob said that all regions will thus be grouped into zones and added that the health of all Namibians remains a top priority.

“The current lockdown in the two regions (Khomas and Erongo) has not been efficient,” health minister Kalumbi Shangula said.

A country world lockdown is needed to curtail the further spread … Read More

Covid-19 panel discussion: Namibia’s tourism industry during lockdown

Minister of tourism Pohamba Shifeta says the tourism and hospitality industry has already felt the reverberating effects of the lockdown as the majority of approximately 120 000 directly employed people in that industry are sitting at home with no pay.

Pohamba Shifeta

Namibia Tourism Association chairman Bernd Schneider says tourism is going to be in for a tough ride not only for the next few months, but in the following year. “This is going to impact us quite until 2021.”

Schneider says lodges currently have no business because the majority of the industry’s income is generated through foreign travellers. He … Read More

Medicines regulator warns against Covid-19 self-testing

by Terttu Newaka

THE Namibia Medicines Regulatory Council has warned the public against doing home-testing for Covid-19 to accurately detect active infections.

Photo: Reuters

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the council’s registrar of medicine Johannes Gaeseb said the rapid test [also referred to as the point-of-care antibody test] is not intended for self-testing and is only designed for use by health care professionals.

“It has come to the attention of NMRC (Namibia Medicines Regulatory Council) that there are rapid-testing kits available in the country intended for home use, that is, self-testing. Please, note that due to the seriousness of … Read More

Covid-19 panel discussion: Ben Nangombe and Dr Eric Dziuban

Executive director of health, Ben Nangombe, says confirmed local Covid-19 cases still stand at 16, with three recovered.

Ben Nangombe

Eleven cases are in the Khomas region, one in //Kharas and four in Erongo.

Nangombe says the groups that were quarantined at Greiters centre and in the Hardap region have been released.

He explained quarantine is for those who have travelled from affected countries but does not mean the person is a suspected case.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) country director Dr Eric Dziuban dispelled rumours that drinking alcohol, eating garlic or drinking hot water with lemon fights … Read More

Govt considers ring fencing loans, mortgages

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

The government is pondering the possibility of providing guarantees to financial institutions giving consumers loan and mortgage holidays in a bid to cushion the effects of Covid-19.

PANELLISTS … from left: Finance executive director Ericah Shafudah, finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi and deputy information minister Emma Theofelus yesterday at the Covid-19 information centre. Photo: Contributed.

Finance Minister Iipumbu Shiimi yesterday said the focus is on optimally utilising scarce resources to improve key sectors.
He said while banking clients are considered, education is another sector to be pondered.

“It may not be easy to convince banks to give zero … Read More

The homeless march on amid Covid-19

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

A COVID-19 task force consisting of churches recently handed over clothing, food and other items worth N$21 000 to a group of homeless people, who are accommodated at the Khomasdal Soccer Field.

LEFTOVER SOUP … Jacky Arnoster prepares soup while waiting for the church to drop off food. The group says they receive two meals per day. Photo: Henry van Rooi

The church task force is a joint effort of the Council of Churches in Namibia (CCN) and the Association of Charismatic and Pentecostal Churches in Namibia (ACPCN) as a response to Covid-19.

Pastor Shalom Nghifitikeko told … Read More

Capricorn commits N$5m to fight Covid-19

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE Capricorn Group, a wholly Namibian company, has pledged N$5 million towards efforts to address the challenges posed by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.

Thinus Prinsloo

The funds have been committed by Capricorn’ subsidiaries, Bank Windhoek, Capricorn Asset Management and Entrepo Holdings and the contributions are in the form of cash or specific vital goods.

Capricorn Group chief executive officer Thinus Prinsloo made this announcement in a statement today, saying their mission is to meet government half way while their priority is to save lives.

“As a group with deep roots in Namibia and a footprint in … Read More

Orano donates Covid-19 protective gear to police

by Adam Hartman

ORANO Mining Namibia donated sanitiser gel and surgical gloves and masks worth N$30 000 to the Erongo police on Tuesday.

PROTECTION … From left: Chief inspector Moses Aebeb of the Swakopmund police station, Orano Mining Namibia managing director Tommie Gouws and warrant officer Pelican Mundjindi of Swakopmund police station attending the handover ceremony of protective gear to the Erongo police. Photo: Contributed

The protective gear would be used by the police and defence force members jointly stationed at the 16 stations within the Erongo region that forms the centre of the Covid-19 response.

The officers stationed within … Read More

Panel discussion: Economic Income Grant update

Iipumbu Shiimi. Photo: Shinovene Immanuel

The economic income grant (EIG) is for people who lost their livelihoods in the informal sector as well as the unemployed, says finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi.

As long as you are between 18 and 59 years and you are not benefiting from any other social grants, you qualify for this grant.

Students do not qualify for the EIG because they didn’t not lose any livelihood incomes. People who lost jobs in the formal sector do not qualify for EIG, as they will be catered for under different schemes. As they are known through the taxbase.… Read More

Unions threaten to withdraw health workers

by Sakeus Iikela

THE Public Service Union of Namibia yesterday threatened to stop their members from attending to patients, should the health ministry fail to provide them with personal protective equipment.

There is a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves, which could compromise the safety of health workers. Photo: iStock

The union’s acting secretary general, Ujama Jamee Kaahangoro, said in a statement issued yesterday, the health ministry was ignorant and had not been telling the truth about its preparedness to deal with Covid-19.

Kaahangoro said the ministry was not adequately attending to the serious issue … Read More

Coronavirus briefs: NamPost to distribute sanitisers around the country

NAMPOST will transport sanitisers to 70 locations nationwide as their contribution to the fight against Covid-19.

Photo: iStock

The items, which include 180 units of 25 litre surface sanitiser containers, 112 units of 25 litre hand sanitiser containers, and 104 toilet packs of 40 rolls each were made possible through donations from Standard Bank Namibia and Elso Holdings.

NamPost will further commit N$90 000 to transporting the items, weighing 8 tonnes, to different locations countrywide.

Dundee offers Tsumeb hospital support
DUNDEE Precious Metals Tsumeb reaffirmed its support to the Tsumeb District hospital with a donation of N$5 million.

The donation … Read More

Frequently Asked Questions on Lockdown

What does it mean to be under lockdown?
• This means everybody is to stay at home and move around only when necessary, like when visiting the bank, pharmacy or to buy food.
• Movement is not only restricted within the country, but its borders are also closed.

When did the lockdown start ?
• According to the published regulations, it officially started at 14h00 on Saturday 28 March.

When will the lockdown end?
• Should the president not extend the period, it will end at 23h59 on 17 April.

What are people allowed to do during the lockdown?
• … Read More

The Covid-19 pandemic around the globe

by Nampa-AFP-Reuters

LONDON – British prime minister Boris Johnson was battling the coronavirus in intensive care yesterday, raising serious concerns about his health and his government’s response to the still-escalating outbreak.

“The prime minister has been stable overnight and remains in good spirits,” his official spokesman told reporters at a daily briefing. He added the 55-year-old Conservative premier was receiving “standard oxygen treatment and breathing without any other assistance” and had not required a ventilator.

Johnson was admitted to intensive care on Monday evening and asked foreign secretary Dominic Raab to deputise for him … Read More

Sixteen health workers in self-isolation

SIXTEEN health professionals, who came into contact with a doctor who tested positive for Covid-19, are in self-isolation.

A member of the medical staff at Montefiore Medical Centre in New York City, United State of America. Image used for illustrative purposes. Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP

This includes six doctors, five interns and five nurses.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula yesterday confirmed this to The Namibian.

The health ministry said over the weekend the 46-year-old medical practitioner, who is one of the latest positive cases, had travelled to South Africa.

He was tested on 30 March at the Robert Mugabe Clinic … Read More

City paramedics short of protective wear

by Sakeus Iikela

THE Windhoek municipality’s emergency response department is failing to provide employees with adequate personal protective equipment in the wake of the rising spread of the novel coronavirus in the capital.

Windhoek municipality’s emergency response employees claim that they are short on protective wear.
Photo: New Era

The municipality’s emergency service employees respond to several situations in the city, including health emergencies.

In a letter of complaint directed to the city manager of emergency services, Raymond Kapia last month, the employees said it was difficult for “responders to determine the body temperature of patients since thermometers on the … Read More

Coronavirus briefs: Students need access to internet

A GROUP of panellists at the Covid-19 information centre yesterday morning said students from higher education institutions should make use of online platforms to access study materials.

Photo: Reuters

They, however, agreed that access for all students will be a challenge as not all students have access to the internet. The panellists added that they are working to find ways of making internet available to all students.

Letshego offers relief to communities
LETSHEGO Namibia Holdings is taking steps to support clients through economic challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic, by offering them the opportunity to apply for a three-month payment … Read More

Live (ended) … Covid-19 Communication Centre Update

Video: Ndanki Kahiurika

Deputy minister of information and communication technology, Emma Theofelus, opened today’s Covid-19 information centre discussions with prayer. President Hage Geingob declared today a national prayer day.

On today’s panel are Hippy Tjivikua from the Walvis Bay Corridor Group, Jonas Sheelongo, deputy executive director of works, and Leslie Mpofu, Trans-Kalahari Corridor secretariat.

Jonas Sheelongo, executive director of works, says the ministry has drafted regulations for truck drivers regarding the trade of essential goods. He says they are trying to ensure people remain on aircraft and vessels to minimise contact and avoid Covid-19 infection.

Sheelongo expressed appreciation for truck … Read More

Panellists encourage e-learning

Video: Charmaine Ngatjiheue

Higher education panellists this morning called for pupils to make use of online platforms to access study material. Speaking at the Covid-19 information centre this morning, panel members agreed access to suitable devices is a challenge, but said they are working on ways to solve the issue.

From right: Namibia University of Science and Technology representative Delvaline Möwes, higher education executive director Alfred van Kent and University of Namibia representative Maggy Beukes-Amiss.… Read More

Lockdown casts eerie shadow over hotel industry

by Adam Hartman

SWAKOPMUND, known as Namibia’s tourist mecca, looks eerily unnatural as large hotels, usually bustling with activity, have gone suddenly quiet because of the Covid-19 lockdown.

STRANDED… The Swakopmund Strand Hotel, known as a landmark of colourful activity with its international guests and variety of restaurants and stores, looked eerily cold and dark on a normal Sunday afternoon. The hotel is one of many that closed its doors for the lockdown. Photo: Adam Hartman

Some people fear that the end of the lockdown locally may not be enough to revive business-as-usual.

Ohlthaver & List Group spokesperson Roux-ché Locke … Read More

Volunteers start Covid-19 info sharing

by Clemans Miyanicwe

ARMED with a loudspeaker and a nametag, 20 youths stand outside OK Foods at Khorixas where they are sharing information regarding the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The volunteers also go around the north-western town educating the locals.

INFORMATION WARRIORS … Twenty volunteers from the Namibian Red Cross Society and Khorixas Youth Forum together with local hospital management and Khorixas police station management.
Photo: Contributed

The Khorixas District Hospital response team, which consists of matron Techla Kongoro, primary health care supervisor, Auguste Day and Khorixas clinic supervisor Alfeus Tjiveze, trained the 20 volunteers.

Kongoro told The Namibian that the … Read More

Schools get creative during lockdown

by Taati Niilenge and Roxane Bayer

SOME private schools in the country have given pupils the option to submit work online to avoid falling behind amid the lockdown.

BOOKS OUT! … Some teachers at both public and private schools have been sending pupils lessons to complete at home. Photo: Contributed

The Private School Swakopmund (PSS) has already turned to e-learning.

According to school director Hein Daiber, the school aims to provide pupils with a new normal, allowing them to adjust to a new routine at home.

“We don’t think the coronavirus will go away before 16 April,” Daiber said.

The … Read More

The Covid-19 pandemic around the globe

by Nampa-Reuters

Indian leaders agree to salary cut
NEW DELHI – Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and other top government figures will take a 30 percent salary cut this year, a government minister said yesterday, as the country tackles the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the economy. Modi has imposed a three-week lockdown to halt the spread of the virus, but it has left millions without jobs and many of the more vulnerable sections of society struggling for food and shelter. The federal cabinet has approved a decree under which Modi, along with president Ram Nath Kovind, state governors … Read More

Coronavirus briefs: Quarantined group cleared

A GROUP of 35 Namibians and residence permit holders who were put under quarantine have been cleared and sent home.

The group arrived in the country from Europe on 21 March and were put under supervised quarantine for 14 days as part of the government’s precautionary measures against the spread of the coronavirus. Health minister Kalumbi Shangula told The Namibian on Sunday that the group has been cleared and discharged.

PDM criticizes ruling party
THE Popular Democratic Movement has accused the ruling Swapo Party of having failed to set a clear policy and adequately plan for combating Covid-19. The PDM … Read More

Covid-19 Mythbusters

EXPOSING yourself to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25 degrees Celsius DOES NOT prevent the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

You can catch Covid-19 no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of Covid-19. To protect yourself, make sure you clean your hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

You can recover from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Catching the new coronavirus DOES NOT mean you will have it for life.
Most of the people who catch Covid-19 can recover and eliminate the virus from their bodies. If … Read More

Coronavirus briefs: Essential services website launched

THE Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade has launched a website to enable all essential service providers to apply for certificates online to ensure their businesses continue operating.

Service providers need to log onto Thereafter they should upload a copy of their certificate of incorporation for companies or a founding statement for close corporations. Once the information is verified, certificates of the authorisation will be sent to the applicants.

Police brace for complete lockdown
POLICE inspector general Sebastian Ndeitunga has urged regional commanders of regions not yet placed on complete lockdown to identify checkpoints to be set up in anticipation … Read More

Namibia tests 300 samples for coronavirus

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula says Namibia has tested 362 specimens for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

A nurse holds swabs and test tube to test people for COVID-19 at a drive through station set up in the parking lot of the Beaumont Hospital in Michigan, United State of America on Monday, March 16, 2020. Associated Press Photo/Paul Sancya

Speaking at the Covid-19 information centre this morning, Shangula said 206 of these specimens were submitted to the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP), while 156 were submitted to Pathcare, which sends its specimens to South Africa for testing.

“This means … Read More

Coronavirus cases climb to 16

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

NAMIBIA has recorded two more cases of coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases to 16.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula made this announcement this morning at the Covid-19 daily update.

Shangula said case number 15 involve a Namibian who came into contact with an infected person who was in the country from South Africa, but had since left.

The other case is that of a Namibian health professional who had travelled to South Africa and returned to Namibia presenting symptoms of the coronavirus.

The two new cases reported their symptoms at the Robert Mugabe clinic in Windhoek.… Read More

Coastal residents donate to help needy

by Taati Niilenge

WALVIS Bay residents continue to deliver donations, to be distributed to needy people during the Covid-19 lockdown, at regional council offices at the town.

Photos: Contributed.

Sugar, maize meal and water valued at N$ 20 000 were donated by Albertus Shafa Shitatu.

“The water is a donation towards the police and defence force who have to patrol the streets of Walvis Bay every day, while the food will be given to the needy during this time,” he said.

“I urge those who can assist in their personal capacity, to please do so as we do not know … Read More

Erongo police stations inundated with emergency travel requests

by Ester Mbathera

The police in Erongo say their stations in the region are inundated with requests by the public to travel out of Erongo for emergency purposes.

Photo: Nampa

The Namibian Police’s community affairs commander for the Erongo region, Ileni Shapumba, says on a daily basis since the lockdown was implemented police stations in the region have been handling more than fifty emergency travel requests related to deaths and funerals.

According to Shapumba, a few of the requests are genuine but most are not, but the police cannot verify each and every request.

“Most of the requests are motivated … Read More

Alcohol abuse leads to GBV despite lockdown

by Ndanki Kahuirika

SOME 37 gender-based violence cases have been reported in Windhoek since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown, with alcohol abuse as the main contributing factor.

Robert Kahimise, the chief executive officer of the City of Windhoek, revealed this on Thursday at a press conference where he updated the media of the city’s efforts towards fighting Covid-19.

He said people are still using alcohol despite the state of emergency prohibiting the selling of alcohol. “Hence, we are issuing a general warning to perpetrators that the law will take its course,” he said.

Kahimise said the city authorities have … Read More

Health worker falls victim to Covid-19

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

A HEALTH worker has become the fourteenth person in Namibia confirmed to have been infected with the novel coronavirus, the minister of health, Kalumbi Shangula, has announced.

Shangula said the latest case was also part of a group still being monitored in isolation.

The latest victim came into contact with the third person who was confirmed to be infected with the virus – a German national who has since recovered.

Also on Thursday, the ministry of information said it was considering other measures to control the Covid-19 pandemic, especially among people in the informal sector of the … Read More

Namibians encouraged to take lockdown rules seriously

by Taati Niilenge

A Namibian citizen working in Ecuador is urging Namibians to comply with the coronavirus lockdown rules. Moderatha Shaduka says she sees the Namibian situation in the media, and is shocked at how some people are behaving.

“We have been on lockdown for the past 15 days, and it has not been easy, but we have to comply to the rules. Nobody is allowed to even go out to see friends and family. I had to call paramedics when I fell ill the other day. They come to you because you cannot go to hospital, for fear that … Read More

German national recovered

by Nomhle Kangootui

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula today said the patient regarded as the third confirmed case of the coronavirus in Namibia has recovered and will be returning to Germany.

Kalumbi Shangula

The minister said he was the only patient who was admitted to hospital after testing positive several weeks ago. He added that the patient was tested twice and as both results came back negative, he was discharged yesterday from Windhoek Central Hospital.

“This is case number three, who will soon be going to his home as a healthy person,” Shangula said.… Read More

LIVE (ended) … Latest Covid-19 national measures – State House

President Hage Geingob says the country currently has only 11 confirmed coronavirus infections, but “we don’t have the means to test”.

Hage Geingob

President Hage Geingob is currently briefing the country on the latest developments regarding the Covid-19 national response measures from the State House.

Prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila says the government will be providing financial support to individuals to mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19.

Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula today said the government’s aim is to ensure that Namibia does not reach the same level of positive cases as foreign countries have.

Kalumbi Shangula

He urged the … Read More

Walvis Bay business community pools resources to fight coronavirus

by Ester Mbathera
THE business community at Walvis Bay has started to sacrifice some of their profits in aid of the fight against the novel coronavirus.

DONATION … Employees of Baleia Do Mar Industrial Safety Supplies hand over a donation to the Walvis Bay Urban constituency Disaster Risk Management Committee. 

Baleia Do Mar Industrial Safety Supplies has donated face masks, overalls, cover suits and examination gloves to the Walvis Bay Municipality and the Namibian Police. Part of the donation will also go to the new Covid-19 containerised ward that is under construction at Walvis Bay State Hospital.

The donation is valued … Read More

Corona delays tabling of national budget

by Lazarus Amukeshe

THE government is set to release a portion of the funds for the coming financial year without running the national budget through parliament.

The tabling of Namibia’s national budget has been postponed until further notice, because of the coronavirus that has disrupted normal processes. Photo: Nampa/File

This would be so because of the coronavirus that has disrupted normal processes.

Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi said the tabling of the budget, which was slated for today, would be postponed till further notice.

The Namibian Constitution dictates that the Ministry of Finance presents the country’s expenditure plans and revenue forecast … Read More

Health tracing SA couple with coronavirus

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE health ministry is searching for a South African couple that tested positive for the novel coronavirus in that country and travelled to Namibia.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula confirmed to The Namibian on Monday that the ministry is tracing the couple and contacts, and said he suspected they were tested in South Africa before travelling to Namibia.

He, however, noted that Namibia’s number of confirmed coronavirus infections remained at 11 and the couple was included in South Africa’s coronavirus numbers.

“Those are not our cases. I suspect that the couple got tested in SA before travelling to … Read More

Quarantined group moves from Greiters centre

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

A GROUP of 35 Namibians and residence permit holders were moved from Greiters Conference and Rehabilitation Centre over the weekend due to water supply problems.

PLACE OF QUARANTINE … The kitchen at Greiters Conference and Rehabilitation Centre where the managers argued that reports of dilapidation are untrue. Photo: Henry Van Rooi

The group were instead relocated to Okapuka Lodge and Daan Viljoen Lodge.

The group arrived in the country on 21 March from Europe and were staying at the facility under supervised quarantine for 14 days as part of the government’s precautionary measures against the spread of … Read More

Covid-19 restrictions apply countrywide

by Werner Menges

THE restrictions on business activities and the free movement of people under the coronavirus outbreak state of emergency apply countrywide, the government says.

Peya Mushelenga

In a statement issued on Sunday, the minister of information, Peya Mushelenga, said most of the state of emergency regulations published in the Government Gazette on Saturday apply countrywide.

This includes regulations forbidding the sale of alcohol until the end of 17 April, and ordering the closure of bars, shebeens, nightclubs and open markets, as well as stopping informal trading, until 18 March.

People not employed in what is regarded as “critical … Read More

Ongwediva forcibly shuts down open market, leaving vendors stranded

by Hileni Nembwaya

IT was business as usual at the Ongwediva open market when heavily armed police officers, together with officials from the Ongwediva town council, sneaked up on the unsuspecting vendors on Saturday morning.

The police forced the vendors, who were preparing their stalls for business, to stop everything they were doing and closed their stalls without warning.

The seemingly distressed vendors, who looked on as the police closed their stalls, said they were busy laying their stalls while others were preparing cooked meals just as they always do.

However, the police immediately ordered them to close shop and … Read More

Update: Namibia confirms 11 Covid-19 infections

by Charmaine Ngatjuheue

NAMIBIA has reported its 11th case of a novel coronavirus infection, the health ministry confirmed on Saturday night.

Covid-19 committee focal person Bernard Haufiku confirmed three new cases to The Namibian, but stressed that a statement meant to be sent to the media had been released unethically earlier.

He said the patients were not informed of their positive test results prior to the document being leaked to the public.

In the statement, the health ministry said similar to the first eight cases of a positive test result for the coronacirus, the three new cases were also travel-related.… Read More

Shangula disappointed about lockdown compliance

by Shinovene Immanuel

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula says Windhoek’s compliance with measures introduced to contain Covid-19 has been “pathetic”.

Hundreds of residents from informal settlements showed up at various City of Windhoek (CoW) offices on Saturday morning to have their prepaid water tokens registered and reconnected. Photo: Nampa

“I’m very concerned, to say the least,” Shangula told The Namibian on Saturday night.

“I spent the morning up to lunch time in Katutura to see how people complied with the lockdown instructions. It’s pathetic. People think it’s Christmas. They are going around in big groups. It’s really bad,” he said.

Shangula … Read More

29 truck drivers under quarantine

by Ndanki Kahuirika

TWENTY-NINE truck drivers who drove from South Africa through Botswana this afternoon are currently under quarantine at various  facilities in Windhoek.

Health executive director Ben Nangombe confirmed to The Namibian this evening that all truck drivers who crossed the borders into Namibia today are under quarantine for 14 days.

He said the drivers have been placed under quarantine at various facilities around Windhoek.

Only those who have to return immediately will be released and are expected to sleep in their trucks tonight.

He said in total, there were more than 60 truck drivers screened enroute to Windhoek … Read More

Update: Hobas Lodge staff to self-quarantine

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THREE employees of Namibia Wildlife Resorts’ Hobas Lodge in southern Namibia have been told to self-quarantine for 14 days after they came into contact with a French tourist who tested positive for Covid-19.

The lodge, situated near the Fish River Canyon, was put in a lockdown on Friday to safeguard its staff and visitors.

Health ministry officials from the Keetmanshoop area visited the lodge to study the situation and ensure that no staff or visitors contracted the virus.

NWR acting managing director Matthias Ngwangwama said the employees who came into contact with the guest did not show … Read More

Emergency regulations apply to all regions – health minister

by Shinovene Immanuel

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula says the new regulations aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus apply to all the regions across the country.

The government announced strict measures on Friday to contain the spread of the virus, including a ban on alcohol sales and public gatherings of more than ten people and the suspension of non-essential services.

There has been confusion on whether the regulations announced on Friday were only applicable to the Khomas and Erongo regions, where a lockdown including restrictions on the movement of people came into effect at the start of Saturday.

“Namibia … Read More

Covid-19 lockdown coincides with payday

by Ester Mbathera

ADHERING to the lockdown directive for Khomas and Erongo regions is proving difficult, as it has come at a time when many are receiving their salaries.

Members of the NDF on the streets of Kuisebmond at Walvis Bay.

Same goes for the World Health Organisation’s advice on how people should behave to avoid exposure to the coronavirus.

Long queues are still being observed at grocery retail shops, banks and street food outlets.

In the township of Kuisebmond at Walvis Bay, the residents are still going about their usual activities. Car wash businesses are operating while owners of … Read More

Khorixas street vendors struggling

by Clemans Miyanicwe

THE once-bustling streets of the Khorixas town centre are empty, as most people have stayed home amid coronavirus disease (Covid-19) fears.

Vendors are currently struggling to make ends meet amid the coronavirus outbreak in Namibia.
Photo: Clemans Miyanicwe

When The Namibian visited the town centre at the north-western town, only a handful of people were seen. Street vendors could also be seen awaiting customers for their wares ranging from clothes, spices, cigarettes to vegetables.

A street vendor, who identified herself as Lydia, said the business was slow since the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

“It’s very slow; … Read More

Passenger restrictions for taxi drivers

by Ndanki Kahuirika

TAXI drivers have been restricted to just three passengers per ride, in an attempt by the Namibian Police to enforce the social distancing rules in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Photo: Garwin Beukes

The Khomas regional commander, commissioner Joseph Shikongo, said the police have no intention of stopping the transport system, but have rather introduced measures to reduce the number of people that can be transported in a vehicle.

“In a taxi, it should be three. In a car that transports seven [people], it should be four and in a minibus of six, it should … Read More

Mining operations discontinued

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

MINISTER of mines and energy Tom Alweendo yesterday announced that during the partial lockdown normal mining operations will be discontinued.

Alweendo, however, pointed out that minimal mining operations and critical maintenance work will be allowed to continue.

“It is a requirement for the employers to ensure that when minimal mining operation is being carried out, other preventative measures, such as social distancing, are observed at all times,” he said.

The minister further said that for the orderly implementation of the announced measures, it is a requirement that all mining and exploration companies inform the ministry in writing … Read More

Keetmanshoop shops implement safe distancing measures

by Luqman Cloete

Crowd controlling measures were in full force as part of efforts towards curbing the spread of Covid-19 at most retail shops at Keetmanshoop.

The stores only allowed a limited number of customers to enter at any given time to prevent overcrowding in the shops.

Even the giant retail shops only let in an average of 15 customers at a time as part of their measures to tackle the spread of the coronavirus.… Read More

NWR locks down Hobas Lodge after tourist tests positive for Covid-19

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

NAMIBIA Wildlife Resorts (NWR) has locked down its Hobas Lodge in southern Namibia, after a tourist who stayed there tested positive for Covid-19.

The French tourist, who is Namibia’s eighth confirmed Covid-19 case, stayed at the lodge near the Fish River Canyon from 17 to 19 March.

Officials from the health ministry’s Keetmanshoop regional office travelled to the lodge to map the way forward, as a way to safeguard NWR staff and guests.

In a statement, acting NWR managing director Matthias Ngwangwama assured staff and guests that NWR was doing everything possible to secure their safety.

“Equally, … Read More

Budget tabling delayed

by Nghinomenwa Erastus

THE tabling of the national budget, which was scheduled for the end of this month, has now been delayed till further notice, said the minister of finance, Iipumbu Shiimi, yesterday.

Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi

The Namibian Constitution dictates that the ministry of finance presents the country’s expenditure plans and revenue forecast every end of the financial year, which in this case falls on the 31 March.
Shiimi attributed the delay in tabling the national budget to the declaration of a state of emergency on 18 March by the president due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

He, however, assured … Read More

Two people under quarantine at Oshikango

by Hileni Nembwaya

TWO people who recently returned to Namibia from Angola are currently under quarantine at Oshikango in the Ohangwena region for a 14-day period.

People passing the Oshikango border post, one the busiest in the country, which separates Namibia and Angola. File photo.

The two are said to have entered the country a few days ago through the Oshikango border and were placed under quarantine on arrival.

Ben Nangombe, the executive director of the health ministry, confirmed to The Namibian this evening that one of the individuals is a Namibian national, while the other is a permanent resident … Read More

LIVE (ended) … Press briefing on the Covid-19 National Response Measures

President Hage Geingob today announced that the whole country will be on lockdown soon. He made the announcement at a press briefing currently happening at State House.

Not more than two persons allowed on a donkey cart under the coronavirus lockdown, health minister Kalumbi Shangula says. Also: Not more than three people in a four-seater car, or four persons in a seven-seater.

NO ALCOHOL, TOBACCO … No sales of alcohol or tobacco will be allowed under the coronavirus lockdown, and bars and open markets should stay closed, health minister says.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula says during the lockdown only one … Read More

Coronavirus briefs : MTC responds to Covid-19

MOBILE Telecommunications Company (MTC) has announced a strategy to help fight Covid-19. The strategy consists of information sharing, education, prevention, appropriate facilities and service delivery, as well as N$1 million that MTC will distribute to different critical areas.

MTC will share information by sending SMSes on a weekly basis. They have also committed free usage of the company’s emergency response application called Save My City, which the ministry of health can use for instant news notifications regarding the virus. They have also committed to providing vulnerable communities with items such as soap, sanitisers, food parcels and mobile toilets during the … Read More

Countdown to lockdown

by Ndanki Kahiurika

BY the end of day today, the partial lockdown which was announced earlier this week by president Hage Geingob, will come into force.

The Namibian police has warned members of the public to stick to the announced measures, or risk arrests.

Covid-19 taskforce leader, Dr Bernard Haufiku yesterday reiterated this order, saying any person who tries to go past the roadblocks by force after the lockdown will be punished for going against the regulations.

Haufiku had an engagement with the media and other stakeholders in Windhoek yesterday, where he also clarified the media’s role, citing them as … Read More

Informal settlement on receiving end

by Roxane Bayer

RESIDENTS of Windhoek’s informal settlements are worried about the effect the outbreak of Covid-19 will have on not only their health, but also their finances and businesses.

Hilaria Kafita, who runs a salon in Otjomuise, says her business has declined ever since the first case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed in Namibia. Photo: Henry van Rooi

Hilaria Kafita, who runs a hair salon in Otjomuise, said she is worried about the virus and the financial impact it will have on her and her family.

She said business had declined ever since the first case of the … Read More

Erongo prepares for lockdown

by Adam Hartman

ERONGO regional governor Cleophas Mutjavikua said the partial lockdown on Khomas and Erongo was because the two regions are the country’s largest economic centres.

A partial lockdown of the Erongo and Khomas regions will go into effect at midnight, at the end of Friday.

Mutjavikua told a media conference yesterday that although there have been no records of coronavirus cases in the region, it was vital that stricter measures are put in place to curtail the spread of the virus.

“There are and have been no infections in Erongo. Let us keep it that way,” he said.… Read More

18 students quarantined at Katima Mulilo

by Ndanki Kahiurika

THE Zambezi Waterfront Tourism Park at Katima Mulilo, which has been stuck in the starting blocks, has become a refuge for a group of 18 travellers who were quarantined there yesterday.

18 students who traveled from Zambia and Zimbabwe are currently quarantined at the Zambezi Waterfront Tourism Park at Katima Mulilo. Photo: File

The multimillion-dollar park was shut down in 2016 amid corruption and inefficiency allegations that led to 68 job losses.

Zambezi governor Lawrence Sampofu confirmed the quarantine yesterday, saying the group consists of students who are studying in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“The park has been … Read More

Eighth Covid-19 case confirmed

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula this evening in a live interview with NBC confirmed the country’s eighth coronavirus disease (Covid-19) case.

Shangula said the eighth confirmed case is a local transmission from the third confirmed case a German national.

The minister said they have two further suspected cases, which are not confirmed. The first is a truck driver, who traversed several countries before coming to Namibia and second is a contact.

“A specimen has been taken and sent to the laboratory for investigation whether it is a confirmed case or not. When the results come they will be … Read More

Keetmanshoop test for two suspected coronavirus cases

by Luqman Cloete

//KHARAS acting director of health Dr. Refanus Kooper said two people who had visited the Democratic Republic of Congo recently were screened and tested for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in a room at the hospital after showing symptoms of the virus.

Keetmanshoop State Hospital. Photo: Nampa

He said the duo were placed in isolation and that the results of the test were expected in 48 hours.

“Police will guard the place where they stay to ensure they remain self-quarantined,” he said.

The entrance to the Keetmanshoop state hospital was blocked and the residents turned away for almost … Read More

Rosh Pinah mine plans for Covid-19

by Luqman Cloete

TREVALI Rosh Pinah mine says it has put precautionary measures in place to help keep the Covid-19 at bay.

The Rosh Pinah Mine site.
Photo: Trevali Mining Corporation

The mine general manager Christo Horn in an interview on Thursday afternoon said the company started to educate workers during safety talks about the coronavirus pandemic two months back already.

He said the mine had abolished breathalyser tests to which mine workers were subjected before entering the mine, and had implemented measures such as sanitising of the employees’ hands at the gate.

“We escalated the precautionary measures by sanitising … Read More

Anxiety over lockdown as confusion clouds directives

by Charles Tjatindi

MISCOMMUNICATION, vague directives and contradicting messages have triggered panic waves among Namibians, as the country ponders the implications of the looming partial lockdown in some regions.

Some of the 200 passengers who arrived at Hosea Kutako International Airport on Wednesday afternoon who were temporarily held at the luggage carousel area of the airport while officials tried to figure out whether or not they could enter the country.
Photo: Garwin Beukes

The timeline for the start of lockdown has left many people confused and in a state of panic throughout the country.

President Hage Geingob on Wednesday announced … Read More

Coronavirus briefs: NWR offers resort as isolation facility

THE Namibia Wildlife Resorts has offered its Hardap resort for use as an isolation centre for quarantined people in the fight against the spread of Covid-19.

NWR acting managing director Matthias Ngwangwama says the offer comes after a seemingly increasing need for isolation. “With the Hardap resort close to the Mariental hospital, we believe that the 54 rooms, with 220 beds, ranging from dormitory rooms to family chalets with self-catering facilities would provide the necessary isolation environment needed,” noted Ngwangwama.

FNB urges clients to use digital banking
FIRST National Bank has urged clients to make use of the digital banking … Read More

WestAir retrenches amid virus outbreak

by Ndanki Kahiurika and Charmaine Ngatjiheue

FLYWESTAIR, the schedule operations of Westair Aviation, has announced that not only will it stop its flights during the coronavirus lockdown, but will also retrench 60 staff members.

FlyWestair will suspend its flights during the coronavirus lockdown and also retrench 60 staff members.
Photo: Poerie Venter for Westair Namibia

The company announced in a media statement yesterday that the decision comes as a means of mitigating losses that have come in light of the fight against Covid-19. The announcement comes a day after the government on Tuesday announced a lockdown from 27 March to … Read More

Lockdown time clarified

Information minister Peya Mushelenga, who is the official government spokesperson, clarified that the lockdown will commence at midnight, at the end of Friday (00h00 Saturday, 28 March).

The leader of the Covid-19 task force, former health minister Dr Bernard Haufiku, on Thursday morning also reiterated this during a media engagement event in Windhoek. … Read More

Free water for DRC informal settlement

by Adam Hartman

THE Swakopmund municipality has identified key areas in the DRC informal settlement where it will set up water taps for free water supplies to the thousands of poor residents there – for the duration of the emergency measures being implemented against Covid-19.

WATER … DRC residents who get water from prepaid water stand pipes will soon have free water to assist them maintain hygiene during the Covid-19 state of emergency.
Photo: Adam Hartman

“We decided this at short notice, and in response to the Covid-19 state of emergency. We do not have a choice; we have to … Read More

MUN calls for swift response to Covid-19

by Luqman Cloete

THE Mineworkers Union Namibia (MUN) has urged the government to ensure a healthy working environment at mines in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Shavuka Mbidi
Mineworkers Union Namibia (MUN) southern region chairperson . Photo: Nampa

In a media statement issued yesterday, MUN southern region chairperson Shavuka Mbidi called on the mines and energy minister as well as the minister of labour to act decisively and come up with strict directives to be implemented by mining companies in response to Covid-19.

“The leadership of MUN southern region is urging both mines and labour ministers to put strict … Read More

German embassy evacuates tourists

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

NEARLY 200 German tourists returned to Europe on a chartered flight on Wednesday evening, shortly before Namibia is due to go into a partial lockdown.

The German embassy has evacuated 200 tourists who were in Namibia. Image used for illustrative purposes. Photo: Reuters

The country will be on a partial lockdown with effect from midnight at the end of Friday until 16 April in an attempt to curtail the further spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The 21-day lockdown will apply to the Khomas and Erongo regions specifically. The country’s borders will also be closed for … Read More

LIVE (Ended) … Covid-19 task force address on task force operations

Dr. Bernhard Haufiku

The leader of the Covid-19 task force, former health minister Dr Bernard Haufiku, is addressing the media on the task force operations. He is doing so as part of a media engagement event taking place in Windhoek.

Haufiku says there are gaps that can be dealt with so that the fight against Covid-19 can be won. He also said the Khomas and Erongo regions’ lockdown starts midnight at the end of Friday, not the end of Thursday.

In reference to those quarantined at Greiters Conference Centre outside Windhoek and chaos at Hosea Kutako International Airport, Haufiku said … Read More

Employee engagement key to calming Covid-19 uncertainty

by Staff reporter

PROACTIVE employee engagements can calm the uncertainty surrounding the information being disseminated on the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

After Namibia reported its first two cases (now at four), the health ministry introduced and implemented stringent measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Capricorn Group human capital group executive Stephanie Viljoen said the general uncertainty as to the impact the pandemic will have on daily lives was prevalent with many left with more questions than answers of how the new normal will be.

“By its very nature, Covid-19 has created a crisis for both … Read More

Tourism suffers amid Covid-19 fears

by Ndanki Kahiurika

THE Hospitality Association of Namibia’s chief executive officer, Gitta Paetzold, says travel agents have been working day and night to find ways of transporting tourists back home.

KONGOLA, 04 August 2013 – The newly-erected information board in the Bwabwata National Park in the Kwando core area. The park is home to many animals, including elephants, hippos, buffaloes, lechew and wild dogs. ( photo by: Francois Lottering) NAMPA

The association has a membership of over 50 lodges, hotels and campsites across Namibia.

She said this yesterday when asked about the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) on the industry … Read More

Public, private health join forces against Covid-19

by Adam Hartman at Walvis Bay

THE Welwitschia Private Hospital at Walvis Bay and the Erongo Health Directorate last Thursday launched the Corona Care Campaign.

JOINT FORCES … Members of the Corona Care Campaign (from left), chief principal officer of the Erongo health directorate Dr Amir Shaker, CEO of Erongo Medical Group Matthias Braune, Erongo governor Cleophas Mutjavikua, Financial Consulting Services Walvis Bay audit partner Patterson Tjipueja and Erongo health director Anna Jonas at the launch of the public private partnership against Covid-19 last week. Photo: Adam Hartman

According to Erongo Medical Group chief executive officer Matthias Braune, under which … Read More

Medical interns fear Covid-19 exposure

by Adam Hartman

MEDICAL interns and student nurses have expressed concern for their health should they be made to assist in an emergency national response to Covid-19 cases in the country.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula.
Photo: Garwin Beukes

Last Friday, a notice was issued by acting chief medical superintendent of the Windhoek Central Hospital Farid Zam, calling on all medical officers – professionals and interns – to make themselves available for assignment to “rapid response teams” in light of the four Covid-19 cases confirmed in the country.

The rapid response teams are part of the health ministry’s comprehensive plan to … Read More

Covid-19 measures target informal traders

by Taati Niilenge and Nghinomenwa Erastus

SMALL business owners at Walvis Bay are feeling the pinch of the order from the municipality to close shops, as part of national directives to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Shop owners at the market in front of the old Kuisebmond compound say they understand the fact that the municipality wants to stop the spread of the virus, but their shops are not crowded.

They argue that they are only visited by one or two customers at a time.

According to the business owners, they run businesses like tailoring shops, photocopying stalls, repair shops … Read More

Coronavirus: News Briefs

Nampol implements Covid-19 measures

THE Namibian Police, after the declaration of a state of emergency, has noticed that not all members of the public are adhering to the recommended measures to minimise the spread of Covid-19. According to inspector general Sebastian Ndeitunga, people continue meeting in public spaces, such as restaurants, churches, bars, shebeens and other similar locales, ignoring the potential risk. “A similar situation has also been noted at open markets and stalls where vendors display and sell their goods, including, although not limited to, fresh produce, under very unhygienic conditions,” said Ndeitunga in a media release yesterday. He … Read More

Pharmacies, retailers hike hygiene essentials prices

by Nghinomenwa Erastus

PROVIDERS of healthcare and hygiene products, including distributors, pharmacies and supermarkets have hiked prices of essential products in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak hindering the fight against the spread of the pandemic.

UNSCRUPULOUS … Pharmacies and retailers are taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic in realising abnormal margins on essential products that are deemed important in fighting the spread of the virus. The retailers have hiked the prices of hand sanitisers, masks, immune boosters to unreasonable prices, taking advantage of the high demand created by the pandemic.

The inflated prices have compromised hygiene standards as the … Read More

LOCKDOWN: Khomas, Erongo under lock and key

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue and Okeri Ngutjinazo

President Hage Geingob addresses the media on the current state of the novel coronavirus in Namibia on Tuesday, 24 March 2020. Photo: Garwin Beukes

THE government yesterday announced a partial lockdown for the Khomas and Erongo regions, effective from Friday.

This follows seven confirmed cases of Covid-19. This means internal travel restrictions will apply for a period of 21 days starting on Friday, 27 March 2020 to Thursday, 16 April 2020.

At a press conference yesterday, president Hage Geingob announced that confirmed Covid-19 cases had reached seven, with three Namibians and four foreigners.

The … Read More

World Briefs

Shun church or ‘go to hell’, Zimbabwe government warns

HARARE — A Zimbabwe government spokesman warned people against flocking to church on Sunday in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, and even claimed that worshippers risked going to hell. “A quick survey around town (in the capital Harare) shows a lot of religious activity above 100 people,” Zimbabwe government spokesman Nick Mangwana said on Twitter. “Let’s be responsible. All of us will die. And then go to hell,” he said. The Zimbabwe government has banned gatherings of more than 100 people to ward off the spread of the new coronavirus … Read More

Fears over hand washing in Africa to stem coronavirus to trigger change

JOHANNESBURG-DAKAR — People globally are being told to wash their hands to fight the spread of coronavirus but in Africa many cannot, experts said, urging states to use the pandemic as a reason to finally push for improvements to water supplies.

Aid workers and advisers said countries should seize the moment ahead of World Water Day, which was on Sunday. to reinforce water security on a continent hit by frequent droughts and where many people do not have access to a sink.

“In the water sector we always say ‘Don’t waste a good crisis’,” said Inga Jacobs-Mata, the South African … Read More

World Briefs

Harvey Weinstein tests positive for coronavirus 

NEW YORK — Former Hollywood producer and convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for coronavirus while in prison. He is now in isolation, according to Michael Powers, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association. Weinstein was found guilty of rape and sexual assault last month and sentenced to 23 years in prison. His lawyers have vowed to appeal against his conviction. Weinstein is being held at Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo in upstate New York. Two prisoners at the facility tested positive for the virus on Sunday, … Read More

Logistics, Agribusiness may get Boost From Covid-19 Scare

by Rochelle Neidel 

WHILE many organisations are telling their employees to calm down and stay at home, there may be a silver lining for logistics and agriculture industries as the demand for food and basic amenities rise. 

When it comes down to it, large-scale epidemics are not new, and businesses have survived worse. And maintaining excellent supply chain management during a potential epidemic is a necessity for logistics companies.

As farmers and active participants of the growth process of our economy, we should remain resilient but more importantly clued up on every impact created by socio-economic changes caused by a … Read More

Coronavirus: News Briefs

Rundu Ngandu festival postponed

ORGANISERS of the Ngandu festival at Rundu have postponed the second edition of the annual event to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The festival was slated to take place on 10 and 11 April this year. Founder of the Ngandu event Andreas Gustav announced on Sunday that the festival, estimated to attract 2 000 to 5 000 attendees this year, provides a platform for artists, entrepreneurs and athletes from the two Kavango regions to sell and grow their product offerings. Gustav added that a new date for the festival would be announced and … Read More

Romanian couple out of danger

by Okeri Ngutjinazo and Terttu Newaka

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula yesterday said the Romanian couple who tested positive for novel coronavirus in Namibia, have recovered and are ready to return to their country.

The couple had been living in Spain for years. Health minister Kalumbi Shangula yesterday told The Namibian that the couple is preparing to return to Spain as soon as they are cleared of the virus. 

The couple arrived in the country on 11 March and while they were screened on arrival in the country, they did not show any signs of Covid-19. However, later that day, one … Read More

Fellaini tests positive for coronavirus

QUARANTINED … Former Belgian international Marouane Fellaini has tested positive for the coronavirus, his Chinese club Shandong Luneng said yesterday.

JINAN – Former Manchester United and Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini has tested positive for COVID-19, his Chinese Super League (CSL) club Shandong Luneng announced yesterday.The 32-year-old former Belgian international reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus on  20 March after taking a train to Jinan, and has been put into medical isolation.Fellaini is reportedly the only player in the CSL to have contracted the disease, which has afflicted more than 260 000 people across the world.Notable footballing figures to have been … Read More

We can turn the tide on coronavirus crisis – Johnson
LONDON – The UK can “turn the tide” on the coronavirus crisis within 12 weeks, prime minister Boris Johnson has said. But pressed on what he meant by the three-month timescale, he said he did not know how long it would go on for. He said trials on a vaccine were expected to begin within a month and warned he would “enforce” Londoners to be kept apart “if necessary”. Earlier, in a message to the nation, Queen Elizabeth urged people to come together for the common good. Speaking at 10 … Read More

Aurlus Mabélé

Music star Mabélé dies ‘from coronavirus’
PARIS – Congolese music star Aurlus Mabélé has died in hospital in France’s capital Paris, aged 67. Posts on social media from friends and relatives say he died of the coronavirus but this is not confirmed. His fans called him the king of soukous – a high-tempo Congolese dance music popular across Africa. His daughter, French singer Liza Monet, tweeted on Thursday that her father had died of the coronavirus. “I am inconsolable” she wrote. Fellow member of the supergroup Loketo, Mav Cacharel, also said on Facebook that he had died of … Read More

Covid-19 promotes digital banking in Namibia

by Adam Hartman

ALTHOUGH digital banking was introduced some time ago, the concept is getting a boost with the onset of Covid-19, as self-isolation and social distancing are forcing people to consider new ways of doing business.
Namibia has three confirmed cases of the virus which is spread through contact from one infected person to another, and has no known cure.
President Hage Geingob last week declared a state of emergency after the first two positive cases were identified.
This has resulted in measures that are dominated by exercising hygiene, restricted movement and maintaining safe social distances.
Mario Poolman of … Read More

China central bank says too early to talk of financial crisis

DESPITE the recent tumble in the global financial market in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, it is still too early to tell if a global financial crisis has arrived, a vicegovernor of China’s central bank said over the weekend. Chen Yulu, vice governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), notedthat a global financial crisis, besides causing continued panic market collapse, usually triggers the bankruptcyof key financial institutions and severe damage to the real economy. Many countries have introduced countermeasures against the market turbulence, and their effects remain to be observed, Chen said. Both the virus pandemic and … Read More

New toilets to enhance sanitation

Fransina Kahungu

by Roxane Bayer

THE City of Windhoek handed over 25 toilets – three in the Sonderwater area of Katutura and another 22 in the Khomasdal constituency.
Windhoek mayor Fransina Kahungu handed over the toilets in Katutura on Friday.
“The importance of providing secured, sufficient and sustainable sanitation for many of those living in towns and cities cannot be overemphasised,” said Kahungu.
According to Kahungu, Namibia developed a national strategy in 2009 to provide sustainable sanitation services for households in the country.
However, 14% of citizens living in urban areas practise open defecation, while 77% of people living in … Read More

by Roxane Bayer

Angolan president advises against unnecessary trips
ANGOLAN president João Lourenço has advised people not to take unnecessary trips to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. Lourenço made the remarks at Namibia’s 30th independence celebrations and president Hage Geingob’s inauguration. “As for this trip, it is necessary and it cannot be postponed, I have decided to travel to Windhoek to attend this very important ceremony. We are here because 30 years ago, on a day like this, the people of Namibia celebrated their independence,” he said.

NMC will only pay for positive test results
THE Namibia Medical … Read More

Swapo expels Itula

by Sakeus Iikela

THE ruling party Swapo on Friday expelled dentist-turned-politician Panduleni Itula, who contested last year’s presidential election as an independent candidate, for allegedly working with “counter-revolutionary forces” to destroy and weaken the organisation.
Itula, who until his expulsion was a Swapo member, received 29% of the votes and lost the election to Swapo candidate Hage Geingob who garnered 56% of the votes.
Itula has since unsuccessfully challenged the outcome of that election in the Supreme Court.
His expulsion, according to a letter by Swapo secretary general Sophia Shaningwa dated 19 March 2020, was decided at a politburo meeting … Read More

Quarantine facility in deplorable state

by Okeri Ngutjinazo and Terttu Newaka

PEOPLE who were quarantined on arrival into Namibia from The Netherlands on Saturday, have described the conditions at the facility they are being kept, as deplorable and inhumane.
The aircraft carrying 35 people returning to Namibia from coronavirus-hit Europe landed at Hosea Kutako International Airport on Saturday morning. The plane belongs to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which is the flag carrier airline of The Netherlands
The group include Namibians and residence permit holders.
Speaking to The Namibian yesterday, one of the quarantined persons described the conditions at the facility as terrible and inhumane, adding … Read More

Sports events hit by coronavirus pandemic

The major sports events around the world that have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic include:


* The Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch lighting ceremony in ancient Olympia was held without spectators.

* The Olympic Games flame handover in Athens will be done in an empty stadium on 19 March.

* The Hellenic Olympic Committee suspended the remainder of the torch relay through Greece to avoid attracting crowds.


* US trials for wrestling (April 4-5) were postponed.

* US Rowing postponed its team trials.

* US diving trials (April 3-5) were postponed. All USA diving events postponed for … Read More

Business sector intensifies coronavirus fight

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue 

BUSINESS and finance communities have stepped up measures to mitigate and protect their staff and customers against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) that has become a global pandemic.

Globally, the coronavirus cases are reported at 221 579, with deaths at 8 999, while 85 785 people have recovered.

In a statement, Trustco Group Holdings’ spokesperson, Neville Basson, said the company has banned international business travel for all its employees as a coronavirus preventative measure.

Other measures include mandatory seasonal flu vaccines for all staff and relaxation of the sick leave policy of the group to ensure that compliance … Read More

Cabinet sets Covid-19 measures for uniformed forces

Government has roped in the uniformed forces to help mitigation efforts against coronavirus.

by Arlana Shikongo

HEALTH professionals, logisticians and other multi-disciplinary experts from the uniformed forces will be assigned to work with the ministry of health and the National Health Emergency Management Committee on duties pertaining to the coronavirus outbreak.

Cabinet on Tuesday instituted these measures as part of it’s decisions on tackling the rapidly spreading virus, following president Hage Geingob declaration of a state of emergency.

The uniformed forces include defence officials, the Namibian Police and Correctional Services officers.

Cabinet also said funds will be made available for … Read More

Coronavirus Briefs

by Roxane Bayer

No more taxi and learners’ licences until mid-April

THE Roads Authority Namibia, to minimise the risk of exposing clients and staff to the coronavirus, has suspended all new applications for learner drivers’ licences and road carrier permits for domestic passengers (taxi permits) until 15 April. Classes for learner drivers will also be reduced to 15 per session. The 2 790 learners’ tests booked until the end of this month will be attended to in smaller groups. NaTIS offices, where the bookings were made, will contact booked individuals with the new arrangements. Replacements and duplicates of passenger transport permits, … Read More

Namibia records third Covid-19 case

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

NAMIBIA has recorded its third case of a coronavirus infection, after a 61-year-old German national who travelled to Namibia tested positive for the virus.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula told a press conference in Windhoek yesterday that the German man arrived in Windhoek on 13 March from Zimbabwe. He had first travelled to Amsterdam from Germany on 23 … Read More

Durant among Brooklyn Nets players diagnosed with Covid-19

NEW YORK – Kevin Durant is reportedly among four Brooklyn Nets players who have tested positive for the new coronavirus and are in isolation.


The injured Durant, who has yet to play for the Nets since signing for the club last year, confirmed to The Athletic website he had tested positive for the virus.

“Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine. We’re going to get through this,” Durant was quoted as saying.

News that the two-time NBA Finals MVP was among those who had contracted the virus came soon after the Nets confirmed four players had tested … Read More

Football buries differences to tackle coronavirus

by Brian Homewood

BERN – After months of bickering over new competitions, talks of closed super leagues and complaints of greed by elite clubs, football’s leaders have buried their differences to tackle the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

On Tuesday, Uefa agreed to delay its flagship Euro 2020 competition for one year to allow domestic leagues to complete their seasons, once football resumes, and Fifa in turn recommended postponing its new Club World Cup from 2021.

“It was a relatively short call, probably the most united front of opinion I have seen in European football so far,” said Jonas Baer-Hoffmann, … Read More

Emmerson Mnangagwa

Zim declares disaster state, no confirmed Covid-19 cases

HARARE — Zimbabwe’s president has declared a state of national disaster as the country anticipates the impact of the novel coronavirus, even though there are no confirmed infections there. Anadulo Agency reported that the action came after a UK tourist tested positive following a trip to Victoria Falls. It reported that president Emmerson Mnangagwa issued a proclamation on Tuesday, banning gatherings of more than 100 people. The action echoes measures taken in South Africa. President Cyril Ramaphosa issued a sombre call to action on Sunday as the number of infections … Read More

e-sports-Virtual world races to fill sporting void left by virus

by Alan Baldwin

LONDON – The coronavirus has brought sport to a standstill but the virtual world is seizing the opportunity to fill the void, with athletes rushing to join online gamers as demand and viewing figures soar.

Nampa – AFP

Darren Cox, president and CEO of Torque e-sports and founder of that organised an all-star race last Sunday after the Australian Formula One Grand Prix was cancelled, has never seen anything like it.

“It feels like I’ve done two Le Mans weeks, back to back. We haven’t slept,” he told Reuters.

“We’re back on to the next one, … Read More

IMF wants renegotiation of loans amid virus

by Lazarus Amukeshe

THE International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva is calling on commercial banks to renegotiate some loans for stressed borrowers whose businesses are affected by Covid-19.

Image Source:

The call is part of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) policy recommendations set to help guide countries in the difficult days ahead.

Georgieva said, while it is true that some countries are harder hit than others, solidarity is needed more than ever and polices that talk to each other across the board have the ability to lessen the virus’s effect.

“While quarantining and social distancing is the right … Read More

22 suspected cases of coronavirus test negative

Photo: Henry van Rooi

by Ndanki Kahiurika

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula yesterday revealed that as of 17 March  only two of the 24 suspected cases of coronavirus tested positive.

He said this during a weekly press briefing held in Windhoek yesterday.

The two cases that tested positive was the Romanian couple, and no new confirmed case has been reported so far.

“As of yesterday, a cumulative number of 24 suspected cases were reported in Namibia and all of them were tested. Four were tested by a private laboratory of which two tested negative and two tested positive. The latter was … Read More

Covid-19 bites business earnings hard

by Ndanki Kahiurika

MOST businesses that depend on large gatherings are battling to survive in the face of the 30-day ban to raise enough rent, staff salaries and to keep the business running.

At several restaurants and hangout places in Windhoek, employers spoke of how they were trying to continue businesses without placing themselves or their workers at a disadvantage.

Ruvinoh Graig, the general manager of MoJoe’s Lounge at Windhoek’s Game shopping centre said business has been slow.

She said her employees were carrying on their daily duties, upholding hygiene with disinfection every now and then.

She, however, said the … Read More

SSC sends 13 workers on self-quarantine

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

THE Social Security Commission has placed 13 of its workers under self-quarantine after they were in contact with an employee who recently travelled on the same flight with Namibia’s two confirmed coronavirus cases. 

Unomengi Kauapirura

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula on Saturday announced the country’s first confirmed coronavirus cases after a Romanian couple who arrived in the country last Wednesday was confirmed to be carrying the coronavirus. 

 The results were received on Friday evening.  Shangula said the couple came from Madrid, Spain, via Doha, Qatar, before coming to Namibia through the Hosea Kutako International Airport. 

Social Security Commission … Read More

OFF LIMITS … A sign at the entrace to Lady Pohamba Private Hospital in Wind- hoek states that the health facility is not a centre for testing for coronavirus. Instead, the hospital advices the public to get tested using other centres, such as the mobile clinic parked in front of the hospital. Path-

Care and NHP, in partnership with Lady Pohamba Private Hospital in Windhoek are operating a mobile clinic in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. PathCare staff members Anna Kaulnawoye and Maravilha Pedro say they are ready to assist people at the mobile clinic testing for the coronavirus. … Read More

‘We are humans too’ Quarantined family bemoans treatment

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE guest house worker who came into contact with the Romanian couple from Spain that tested positive for the novel coronavirus says her family is being stigmatised and discriminated against by their community.

“They are referring to us as the coronavirus family. They saw the commotion going on around our house when we were informed about the couple that tested positive,” the worker, who is only identified as Kasuko, said.

In a telephonic interview with The Namibian, Kasuko (20) recounted meeting the couple, saying she came into close contact with them and even touched a few … Read More

Corona leaves sports arena in tatters

Immanuel Heita in action during a Brave Warriors training session. Namibia on Tuesday withdrew from the African Nations Championship finals in Cameroon.

JUST about every major sporting event has been stopped in its tracks globally, with the lock down continuing on Tuesday as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc.

The Namibia Football Association on Tuesday afternoon withdrew the Brave Warriors from next month’s African Nations Championship finals due to the global contagion.

We have enough evidence and advice to arrive at our decision to withdraw from the Chan finals and suspend all football activities under our jurisdiction. Going forward,

Read More

Tourist Covid-19 rumour at Khorixas dispelled

Photo for illustration purposes.

by Clemans Miyanicwe

THE primary healthcare supervisor at Khorixas District Hospital, Auguste Day, has shot down rumours that two tourists were bought in to the hospital to be tested for the novel coronavirus on Monday.

Day said on Kaisames FM – formerly the Damara Nama radio service – that nobody had been brought to the hospital at Khorixas with symptoms of being infected with the coronavirus.

“There is no coronavirus. There was nobody brought in with symptoms. Our hospital is not under lockdown,” an irate Day said on air.

Day warned people not to spread false … Read More

Vocational centres closed amid Covid-19 concerns

Jerry Beukes

VOCATIONAL training centres have been closed and training has been suspended effective immediately, as a measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

The Namibia Training Authority (NTA) chief executive officer Jerry Beukes said all vocational training centres (VTCs) would stop face-to-face instruction immediately until further notice and the decision supersedes the scheduled mid-term break of 23 to 26 March.

In a statement today, Beukes said these decisions, inter alia, include immediate amendments to the school calendar as per the education ministry directive that called for all schools, resource centres and hostels to close tomorrow (16 … Read More

Sporting events called off


SPORTING events in Namibia have gone into lockdown following the coronavirus pandemic which has now also reached Namibia. 

The chief administrator of the Namibia Sport Council, Freddy Mwiuya, yesterday announced that all national and international events had been called off with immediate effect. 

“Following president Geingob’s announcement on Saturday to call off all large gatherings in Namibia, we have decided that all national and international sporting events will be suspended with immediate effect for a period of 30 days,” he said. 

“This doesn’t mean that sportsmen and women should stop training. They can still do so on … Read More

Events called off – following confirmation of the Covid-19

Dj Castro who was lined up to perform at the 30th Independence Concert.

by Staff Reporter

The organisers of the Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) and organisers of the 30th Independ- ence Day concert have cacelled the NAMA nomination launch and postponed the 30th independence concert, after president hage Gein- gob announced a suspension of big gatherings on Saturday.

Geingob made the statement after two cases of cornonavirus has been confirmed in Namibia.

The NAMA nomination launch that was scheduled to take place on 27 March, will no longer be held. The event brings together over 600 artistes. This year … Read More

The economics of a virus … hoping for the best, prepared for the worst

by Martin Muhleisen and Tobias Adrian

INDIVIDUALS infected by the coronavirus potentially face a blow to their health and personal and economic well-being.

Similarly, countries hit by a sudden and unexpected public health emergency – as the coronavirus is proving to be-can see their economies slow and their budgets squeezed as they spend more to counter the impact of the virus.

At the same time, they may experience a drop in revenue from a decline in economic activity. Countries could also face lower export revenues due to falling tourism receipts or a decline in commodity prices.

A sudden halt in … Read More

Shortage of masks, hand sanitisers hits Namibia

An employee tapes an announcement saying that masks and antiseptics are sold out on the display window of a pharmacy in Athens. Pharmacies around Windhoek and Okahandja have already reported stock shortage of hand sanitisers and surgical masks. Photo: Nampa-AFP


SEVERAL shops and pharmacies around the country have run out of hand sanitisers and masks amid the global spread of coronavirus.

Chairperson of the Pharmaceutical Society of Namibia, Benjamin Khumalo, told The Namibian that wearing masks can prevent those already infected from spreading the virus further. Members of the public can also reduce infection … Read More

Namibia battles coronavirus

by Arlana Shikongo

Photo: Henry van Rooi

While Namibia was still determined to facilitate the ‘special occasion’ of celebrating the 30th anniversary of its independence, Geingob made it clear that no large public gatherings should be hosted for the next 30 days.

“The health of Namibians is the first priority. Appropriate precautionary measures must be taken,” Geingob said during a media briefing on Saturday.

“The Namibian government is suspending inbound and outbound travel to and from Qatar, Ethiopia and Germany with immediate effect for a period of 30 days. All big gatherings are suspended for a period of 30 days,” … Read More


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