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

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

Coastal tourism hub deserted

Tourism establishments and vendors at the Walvis Bay waterfront are closing the last shops as the place has become desolate. They were hoping that locals would at least start supporting the industry, as there are no tourists, but nobody showed up the entire week.

Video: Taati Niilenge… Read More

Haufiku addresses civil society on Covid-19

National coordinating committee chairperson on Covid-19 in Namibia, Dr Bernard Haufiku addresses civil society organisations and church leaders at the National Housing Enterprise offices in Eros regarding the Covid-19. A debate has ensued regarding the decision to overturn the sale of alcohol during the lockdown.
Video: Garwin Beukes… 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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