Author: Arlana Shikongo

Covid-19 Update:

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula says Namibia has recorded 22 new Covid-19 positive cases in the past 24-hours. All the new cases are Namibians with the exception of one.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula

According to the minister, 20 are from Walvis Bay, one from Oshana region, and the other one is from Lüderitz in //Kharas region.

The youngest case is two years and the oldest is 60 years old.

All the new cases are in stable condition and contact tracing is ongoing.

Namibia now has 615 confirmed cases, with 25 recoveries and 590 active cases.… Read More

Security force members in quarantine

by Ester Mbathera

ERONGO police regional commander commissioner Andreas Nelumbu says a number of security force members are in mandatory quarantine while others are in self-quarantine after coming into contact with members of the community who tested positive for the novel coronavirus at Walvis Bay.

Andreas Nelumbu

In an interview with The Namibian on Tuesday, Nelumbu could not give the exact number but says the security force members are part of the community where they live with their families and have to be removed should they be identified as possible coronavirus contacts, to contain the further spread of the virus.… Read More

Imported Covid-19 test kits safe – Shangula

by Sakeus Iikela

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula says coronavirus test kits imported and donated from China were not contaminated as is being alleged by some members of the public.

The Chinese embassy in March donated 1 000 Covid-19 testing kits to Namibia. Photo: Henry van Rooi

Shangula said the test kits meet worldwide standards and produce authentic results.

He was responding to questions posed by UPM parliamentarian Jan van Wyk in the National Assembly on Tuesday.… Read More

FNB Klein Windhoek temporarily closed

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

FNB NAMIBIA has temporarily shut down its Klein Windhoek branch after one of its employees came in contact with a Covid-19 positive case.

The FNB Branch in Klein Windhoek. Photo: Contributed

The branch will be closed down for one week, beginning 6 until 13 July, as a precaution to protect staff and customers from possible infection.

“An FNB Namibia employee, who was contact-traced by the Ministry of Health and Social Services’ task force after suspected contact two weeks ago with a since-diagnosed Covid-19 case, will receive testing and the branch has been closed to undergo strict sanitisation,” … Read More

COVID-19 UPDATE

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula says there are 54 new positive Covid-19 cases. All cases are from Walvis Bay.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula. Photo: MICT

This brings the total cases to 539, with 25 recoveries and 514 active cases.

The minister said from the new cases, 35 are females and 19 are males, with the youngest being five years old and the oldest is 60-years old.

“They are all in stable condition and contact tracing is ongoing to establish the source of infection,” the minister said.… Read More

Namcor confirms Covid-19 case at headquarter

by Arlana Shikongo

THE Namibia Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) has announced a temporary lockdown of its head office in Windhoek for seven days after an employee tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday.

The Namcor head office in Windhoek. Photo: File

This was announced in an internal memo sent to staff on Monday by managing director Immanuel Mulunga, who also confirmed the lockdown to The Namibian.

“One of our employees tested positive with the coronavirus on Friday, 3 July 2020. The employees in question, along with about three colleagues who he closely interacted with, are currently under quarantine,” … Read More

Plans to decongest informal settlements at coast

by Arlana Shikongo

PRESIDENT Hage Geingob on Monday announced plans to temporarily relocate residents of informal settlements at Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis to unallocated mass houses in the coastal towns.

A mass housing project pictures at Walvis Bay in 2017. Image used for illustrative purposes. Photo: File

Speaking at the Covid-19 response for Erongo region at State House on Monday afternoon, the president said this is in an effort to decongest informal settlements of those towns, as the spread of Covid-19 has risen sharply there in recent weeks.

“The Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, together with the regional … Read More

Covid-19 Update … Nam records 73 new cases

The country has recorded 73 new confirmed Covid-19 cases. All of them are Namibians, with one from Windhoek and the rest from Walvis Bay.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula. Photo: MICT

This was announced by health minister Kalumbi Shangula this morning.

The confirmed case from Windhoek is a 44-year-old man who has a history of travelling from Walvis Bay. He has been in quarantine since 27 June.

The minister said 37 of the confirmed cases are female while 36 are male. The youngest is five years old and the oldest is 55 years old.

Shangula added that they are all in … Read More

Nam records 15 new cases

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

Namibia has reported 15 new Covid-19 positive cases, all of which are from Walvis Bay, health minister Kalumbi Shangula announced on Friday evening.

This brings the total cases to 350, with 25 recoveries, the minister said.

Shangula, in a statement, said 13 are females and two are males. The youngest is four years old and the oldest is 51 years old.

“Twelve had symptoms consistent with Covid-19 at the time of specimen collection. Four were identified through active case search,” he said.

The minister added that they are all in stable condition and contact tracing is ongoing.… Read More

Covid-19 cases hit 196

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula announced on Monday evening a spike in the novel coronavirus cases which have hit 196.

Speaking on state broadcaster the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation, Shangula said the figure had shot up by 13 cases with eight coming from Walvis Bay, three from Hardap and one each from Oshana and Zambezi regions.

He also said the government has so far swabbed 8 913 people for testing.… Read More

Covid-19 rate among youth worrisome

by ESTER MBATHERA

ERONGO region governor Neville Andre is concerned about the high number of young people between the age of 24 and 40 contracting Covid-19 at Walvis Bay.

Neville Andre

Although the governor could not explain the reason why young people are the ones contracting the virus, he urged the youth to minimise their movement, which he believes could help protect elderly members in the communities from contracting Covid-19.

“The statistics show that more young people are contracting the virus at Walvis Bay. This is worrisome as we know that most young people in Kuisebmond live with elderly people. … Read More

Govt allays fears at Mariental school

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

THE education ministry plans to start school counselling sessions after a pupil at Mariental Secondary School tested positive for Covid-19 on 18 June.

Mariental Secondary School. Photo: Contributed

Hardap regional education director Gerhard Ndafenongo made the announcement during this morning’s Covid-19 information session in Windhoek.

Ndafenongo said their unit on special education is assessing how pupils from other schools were affected.

“If the report comes that we need to move in, we will send in a (health) expert on school counselling to assist,” he said.

However, he noted that they have not received an extreme case which … Read More

Update … Covid-19 cases at 105

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula says Namibia recorded one recovery and three new positive Covid-19 cases. Namibia now has 105 Covid-19 cases.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula. Photo: MICT

According to Shangula, who made the announcement this morning, case number 103 is a 15-year-old Namibian female who travelled from India.

Case number 104 is a 40-year-old Namibian man from Walvis Bay. Case number 105 is a 43-year-old Namibian man, also from Walvis Bay.

The three new cases are all asymptomatic and in satisfactory condition.

Shangula said the recovered patient is case 31. … Read More

Regulations affecting spaces at Kavango schools

by Ndanki Kahiurika

SOME Grade 11 and 12 pupils at Kavango West might have to go home as there will not be enough space for them in the hostels due to Covid-19 regulations.

Teopolina Hamutumua

The region’s education director, Teopolina Hamutumua, said overcrowded schools and hostels was a challenge to education in the region.

She was speaking at the Covid-19 centre in Windhoek during an update on school operations for phase one and two of Otjozondjupa, Kavango West and Zambezi regions.

“The overcrowding of hostels and classes has made it difficult. For instance, a class that has 60 learners will … Read More

Covid-19 Update … Four new positive cases

Namibia has recorded four new positive cases of Covid-19, health minister Kalumbi Shangula said this morning. All four are imported cases and each of them are quarantined in Windhoek. This brings the country’s total positive cases to 76.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula

Case number 73, 74 and 75 are Indian nationals who travelled to Namibia on 17 June.

Shangula said the three women travelled from India through South Africa.

Furthermore, the three showed no symptoms of the virus but were placed in quarantine, as per protocol, Shangula said.

All three are in satisfactory condition.

Case number 76 is a Namibian … Read More

Outjo teachers told to self-quarantine

by Clemans Miyanicwe

FOUR teachers at a primary school at Outjo were told to self-quarantine as they were at a funeral at the Kunene region town which was also attended by a woman from Walvis Bay who tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

ON ALERT … Outjo circuit inspector Thomas Amutenya. Photo: Clemans Miyanicwe

In a letter dated 22 June, a school principal said Outjo circuit inspector Thomas Amutenya was informed that the four teachers had been in contact with people from Walvis Bay and the school management was requesting that they should stay at home for self-quarantine “as there … Read More

Khomas police chief quarantined

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE Khomas regional police commander, commissioner Joseph Shikongo, has been quarantined after coming into contact with an alleged fugitive who tested positive for Covid-19 last week.

Khomas regional police commander, commissioner Jospeh Shikongo

The alleged fugitive, Immanuel David (35), illegally entered Namibia on 12 June and was subsequently apprehended in Windhoek on 13 June, with Shikongo having been one of the arresting officers.

Shikongo is one of 13 police officers quarantined after apprehending David, who is Namibia’s coronavirus case 33.

Police inspector general Sebastian Ndeitunga confirmed to The Namibian that Shikongo is in quarantine but is in … Read More

Businesses asked to avoid retrenchments

THE government has implored businesses to avoid retrenchments at all costs, to safeguard livelihoods while boosting the economy.

Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi

Speaking during the Covid-19 update at State House and answering a question from The Namibian on Monday, finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi called on businesses to find solutions that can mitigate job losses.

“Covid-19 is a global problem and certain issues may not be avoided, but we are asking businesses to avoid retrenchments and rather come up with job saving solutions. Job losses bring forth a change in livehoods, and if companies can by all costs avoid retrenchments, they … Read More

Covid-19 Response press conference with President Hage Geingob

President Hage Geingob is updating the country about the Covid-19 situation in Namibia. He says Namibia has seen a rapid increase in Covid-19 cases, with infections now numbering 63.

President Hage Geingob

He says most of the cases originate from the Erongo region. The health ministry has mobilised resources to investigate possible community transmissions in that region, the president says.

He also says the lockdown of Erongo is lapsing tonight, while the rest of the country is moving to stage 4 of the coronavirus pandemic restrictions next week Monday.

Geingob says despite an increase in Covid-19 cases in Erongo, the … Read More

Covid-19 Update

HEALTH UPDATE: Health minister Kalumbi Shangula this morning said the country has eight new confirmed coronavirus infections – all from the Erongo region – and two new recoveries from Covid-19, which brings the number of Covid-19 cases recorded in Namibia to 63.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula

Cases 56, 57, 58 and 59 are all contacts of case 37, while case 60 is a contact of case 35.

Case 61 is a 24-year-old woman from Walvis Bay who does not have any known history of contact with another infected person. At the time she has no symptoms or related signs of … Read More

Mariental school shut after pupil tests positive

by Arlana Shikongo

THE Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture has instructed Mariental Secondary School to suspend classes for 14 days after a pupil at the school tested positive for Covid-19.

The pupil, who was on Thursday announced as the country’s 37th Covid-19 case, is a Walvis Bay resident who attends school in Mariental. He is a boarder at the school’s hostel.

He travelled to the town from Walvis Bay on 2 June and attended classes on 11 June, but has stayed home since 12 June after exhibiting symptoms of a runny nose, headache and loss of taste and smell. … Read More

New Covid-19 case for Swakopmund

by Adam Hartman

DOCTOR Amir Shaker, chief medical officer in the Erongo region, confirmed a Swakopmund woman tested positive for the coronavirus.

Photo: Swakopmund Municipality

The woman is 55 years old with no history of travelling.

“She will be taken to isolation shortly,” Shaker said. 

“I  think she may be a community spread.”

This comes a day after patient number 26 was released from the Walvis Bay isolation ward.

Patient 26 said the state is not ready to handle a spike in cases, and added the government and the private sector have to cooperate to win this battle.
Read More

Covid-19 Update … Three new cases

Minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula says Namibia has three new Covid-19 cases.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula. Photo: MICT

Case number 37 is a Namibian man from Walvis Bay, case number 38 is a Namibian student who arrived from England and case number 39 is a 55 year-old Namibian female from Swakopmund.

Case 37 is a 20-year-old man who is a resident of Walvis, but a pupil at Mariental. According to health ministry spokesperson Manga Libita, the case was tested in the Hardap region and thus became that region’s cases.

This means Namibia has now recorded a total … Read More

Covid-19 cases increase to 36

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula this evening announced that the number of Covid-19 cases in the country has increased to 36.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula. Photo: MICT

Shangula said case number 35 is a 26-year-old Namibian male of Walvis Bay.

He called the Walvis Bay State Hospital on 15 June complaining of a cough, difficulty breathing, a headache and a fever since the day before.

“He was picked up by an ambulance on the same day and taken to the hospital. He was screened, swabbed and admitted to the isolation ward. The result of the test came out … Read More

Fishcor boss implicated in Covid-19 fugitive’s escape

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

FISHCOR acting chief executive officer Paulus Ngalangi has been implicated in the transportation of alleged South African fugitive who tested positive Covid-19.

Paulus Ngalangi

This was confirmed to The Namibian by the //Kharas police commander commissioner David Indongo.

Indongo said a police officer also allegedly assisted the fugitive. The officer and Paulus are now in quarantine.

“He (Paulus) is the owner of the car that transported the fugitive and he was behind the steering wheel,” Indongo said.

The commissioner added that he could not confirm whether the two were bribed to transport the fugitive.

“However, if investigations … Read More

Central bank staff quarantined

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE Bank of Namibia has reverted to stage one of lockdown.

This comes after it was established that some of its staff members reside at a complex where the country’s Covid-19 case 33, the alleged fugitive from South Africa was apprehended.

Case 33 is a 35-year-old Namibian with South African citizenship.

He fled from South Africa into Namibia, crossing the Orange river in a canoe.

“Out of abundance of caution, and to protect the wellbeing of staff members, the bank has taken a decision, as a precaution, and with effect from 17 June 2020, to revert to … Read More

Fugitive positive for Covid-19

… as Namibia confirms community transmission

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue and Tuyeimo Haidula

AN ALLEGED fugitive from South Africa has tested positive for Covid-19 in Namibia after illegally crossing the border.

Meanwhile, the contacts of the alleged criminal are still being traced, which has also led to some members of the police being quarantined.

The alleged fugitive is believed to be a Namibian with South African citizenship and was arrested for alleged organised criminal activities.

He was apprehended on Saturday at a block of flats in Windhoek’s central business district.

The Namibian has learnt the 33-year-old man visited the flats on … Read More

Covid-19 Update

Namibia stands at 34 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 18 recoveries and 16 active cases.

The country’s testing capacity has been extended to Keetmanshoop, which means it is no longer centralised.

As of yesterday (Tuesday), 6 100 tests have been conducted, 635 contacts have been identified, and cumulatively 2 961 people have been quarantined, with 639 people still in quarantine facilities. … Read More

Police address the plight of truckers

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

INSPECTOR general Sebastian Ndeitunga this morning said the police are receiving numerous complaints from truck drivers who feel they are not properly taken care of.

Police inspector general Sebastian Ndeitunga. Photo: Charmaine Ngatjiheue

Addressing the Namibia Logistics Association, he said cross-border truckers complain about their welfare, stigmatisation, being paid poorly and being maltreated by the police.

“As a nation we know the essential role these drivers play, and we need to come together to help them. These drivers are really not feeling good about this and it can affect their work,” he said.

Ndeitunga wanted to know … Read More

Covid-19 Update … Namibia reports two new cases

MINISTER of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula this morning said Namibia has reported two new Covid-19 cases. This brings Namibia’s total number of cases to 34.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula. Photo: File/MICT


Case number 33 is a 35-year-old Namibian resident with South African citizenship who returned to Namibia on 12 June. He traveled to Windhoek from South Africa.

He is asymptomatic and his condition is stable.

Case number 34 is a 39-year old Namibian female from Walvis Bay who came in contact with her colleague (case number 32) at the Walvis Bay Correctional Facility.

This is another local transmission … Read More

18 people fined for alcohol related charges

by Lugeretzia Kooper

ABOUT eighteen people were slapped with a fine of N$2000 each over the weekend in Zambezi region for violating the Covid-19 State of Emergency regulations.

Crate with full beer bottles

Zambezi regional police spokesperson inspector, Kisco Sitali, whom The Namibian spoke to today, noted that they are facing a challenge with regards to the operating hours put in place for sale of alcohol in the region since the ban was lifted in the beginning of this month.

“Several cases were open against individuals over the weekend for offences such as drinking in public and selling alcohol after … Read More

SSC, DBN ready to give Covid relief

THE Social Security Commission (SSC) and the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) announced financial aid to those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Social Security Commission spokesperson Unomengi Kauapirura. Photo: Nampa

This was announced last Friday at Swakopmund during the Erongo governor’s weekly Covid-19 update.

Unomengi Kauapirura, head of communications at the SSC, said the commission will provide 6 300 employees whose income has been affected by the pandemic with financial relief, while 850 affected employers will receive subsidies at the end of the month.

Simeon Kahona, Erongo DBN portfolio representative said the bank extended its payment holiday to clients from … Read More

LIVE (Ended) … Lockdown adherence in Erongo region

HEALTH UPDATE … Deputy minister of health and social services Ester Muinjangue this morning said there are no new confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Deputy health minister Ester Muinjangue. Photo: MICT

The number of local cases stands at 32, with 17 recoveries and 15 active cases in a stable condition.

Muinjangue said case number 22 is showing signs of improvement. As of yesterday, the ministry has tested 5 849 people countrywide, and 546 contacts have been identified and are being monitored.

Today’s panellists at the Covid-19 communication centre will be discussing the adherence of Erongo residents to stage 1 lockdown regulations with … Read More

Covid-19 Update … New positive case

Namibia reports a new positive Covid-19 case at Walvis Bay. Minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula announced this at the Covid-19 communication centre this morning.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula

The new case involves a 31-year-old Namibian woman from Kuisebmond who works at the prison. She has no travel history. The minister says investigations are underway to determine the source of infection.

This means Namibia has 32 cases, with 17 recoveries and 15 active cases.

So far 5 682 tests have been conducted, with 713 people in quarantine facilities.… Read More

6 300 to get Covid-related stimulus on Monday

by Adam Hartman

THE Social Security Commission (SSC) said it will give financial assistance to 6 300 employees whose jobs and incomes have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Image used for illustrative purposes. Photo: Stock Image

The commission’s head of communications, Unomengi Kauapirura, said this during the Erongo governor’s weekly Covid-update press conference at Swakopmund today.

She said 13 300 employees who had their salaries cut due to the impact of the pandemic had registered for the stimulus assistance to date, and that 6 300 had been verified, while the rest are still being verified, and may be assisted … Read More

LIVE (Ended) … Pharmaceutical products and services during Covid-19

HEALTH UPDATE … Namibia still has 31 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 17 recoveries and one patient still in intensive care, but stable. A health official this morning said Namibia has tested over 5 000 people, with over 200 tested on Thursday alone.

AVAILABILITY OF MEDS … Panellists at the Covid-19 communication centre are discussing the availability and affordability of pharmaceutical products and services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This morning’s speakers are Uli Ritter of the Pharmaceutical Society of Namibia, Seija Nakamhela, chief pharmacist at the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Elina Veijo, wholesale representative, and Tracy Makoni, pharmacy owner.… Read More

Health gets fever screening thermal cameras

by Charmaine Ngathijeue

THE Ministry of Health and Social Services this morning received 15 thermal cameras for screening temperatures from FirstRand Namibia.

Image used for illustrative purposes.

The donation was made through the bank’s Health Optimisation in a Pandemic Emergency (HOPE) Fund.

The cameras are valued at N$1,4 million, and will strengthen the government’s efforts to detect coronavirus infections at an early stage.

The cameras are set to be used at high-risk points of migration between regions and borders, as well as crowded areas such as hospitals.

FirstRand Namibia’s chief executive officer, Sarel van Zyl, said the institution is committed … Read More

LIVE (Ended) … ‘An illicit drugs and alcohol free society’

COVID-19 UPDATE … Speaking at the Covid-19 Communication Centre this morning, health minister Kalumbi Shangula said the Namibia Institute of Pathology yesterday conducted its highest number of tests in 24 hours.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula

This comprised 216 samples, which all tested negative. “Our testing capabilities continue to improve. We commend the NIP on this milestone,” Shangula said.

The minister revealed that Namibia has now conducted over 5 000 tests for Covid-19, with positive cases remaining at 31, with 17 recoveries.

Shangula said case number 22 is still in intensive care, but in a stable condition and is showing progress. … Read More

Erongo lockdown ‘not a punishment’

ERONGO police community affairs commander, Ileni Shapumba said the lockdown of the region is not punishment, but is being done for the protection of the residents.

CLOSED … Businesses at the coast have closed after President Hage Geingob announced that it would have to remain on stage 1 lockdown regulations until 22 June. Photo: Ester Mbathera

President Hage Geingob on Monday announced that Erongo will return to stage 1 of emergency regulations, which started yesterday and will end on 22 June.

Walvis Bay returned to stage 1 lockdown just over a week ago after more coronavirus cases were recorded there.… Read More

Walvis pre-schools feel lockdown strain

by Taati Niilenge

PRE-SCHOOL owners at the coast say the extension of the lockdown to the whole of Erongo region has plunged them into a financial crisis as they are unable to continue their business ventures.

STRUGGLE CONTINUES … Pre-school owners at Walvis Bay and Swakopmund are worried about their staff who have not been paid for over three months. They fear for the next few weeks as the entire Erongo region is now under lockdown.

Several pre-school owners who spoke to The Namibian yesterday urged the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Child Welfare to come to their … Read More

Covid-19: How to survive as an SME

by Tuyeimo Haidula

APART from a loss of income, Shiwa the Baker’s biggest defeat as a result of Covid-19 was that she could not interact with her baker family.

TOGETHER WE’RE BETTER … Namibian baker Shiwomeho Kalla says local entrepreneurs should collaborate to help them thrive in difficult times and to capture larger audiences. Photo: Contributed

The entrepreneur had several baking classes planned countrywide when president Hage Geingob declared a state of emergency and announced the subsequent lockdown at the end of March this year.

Needless to say, Shiwomeho Kalla had to cancel her plans

Although the strict lockdown was … Read More

Truck drivers’ disciplinary process ongoing

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

THE disciplinary process of the two FP du Toit Transport truck drivers, who in May allegedly escaped from quarantine, continues.

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

Speaking at the Covid-19 communication centre this morning, Stephan Terblanche, chief executive officer of the transport company, confirmed this and declined to comment further.

One driver (47), who is Namibia’s 21st Covid-19 case, returned from South Africa on 8 May and was quarantined at FP du Toit Transport’s truck depot at the coastal town.

Before receiving … Read More

LIVE (Ended) … Health Update

Deputy health minister Ester Muinjangue this morning said there are no new confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Deputy health minister Ester Muinjangue

The country still has 31 confirmed cases with 16 recoveries and 15 active cases. A total of 4970 people were tested and 496 contacts have been identified and are being monitored.

Meanwhile 737 people are in quarantine.

Today’s discussion is on the adherence to Covid-19 regulations in the transport industry.

The panelist include Khomas regional commander commissioner Joseph Shikongo, deputy director of transportation regulations in the works ministry Damien Mabengano and chief executive officer of FP du Toit Stephan Terblanche.… Read More

LIVE (Ended) … Press briefing on Covid-19 measures in Erongo region

President Hage Geingob is currently giving a Covid-19 update on the Erongo region and Walvis Bay lockdown.

President Hage Geingob

When the rest of the country moved to Stage three of lockdown roughly a fortnight ago, Walvis Bay was reverted to stage one because of the number of positive Covid-19 cases.

President Hage Geingob says many have made sacrifices to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic but the situation remains difficult. He says despite new cases being reported, Namibia has not reported any deaths.

He said as of 7 June, Namibia reported 29 Covid-19 positive cases, of which eight of those … Read More

Erongo governor warns against capitalising from Covid-19

by Adam Hartman

ERONGO governor Neville Andre has warned public and private institutions not to abuse the Covid-19 pandemic for their own gain and not to throw victims of the virus and its economic impact under the proverbial bus.

Neville Andre

He said this at the Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) annual media briefing at Swakopmund on Wednesday.

“It is such abnormal times when the instruments and institutions for integrity, transparency and accountability will come to test to ensure the resources earmarked for activities under Covid-19 are spent on the intended purposes,” Andre said.

He said if care is not taken, vulnerable … Read More

Adhere to regulations in stage 3 – Shangula

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shajngula has urged Namibians should adhere to the social distancing regulations for stage 3.

ADHERENCE … Panelists at the covid-19 communication centre will be addressing the adherence of regulations by Windhoek residents in stage 3 of the lockdown. From left, City of Windhoek strategic executive Fillemon Hambuda, the city’s health and environment manager Mary-Anne Kahitu and City Police head chief Abraham Kanime. Photo: Charmaine Ngatjiheue

Speaking at the communication centre in Windhoek this morning, Shangula said this coming weekend will be the first weekend of stage 3 on relaxed lockdown regulations.

He said those … Read More

Covid-19 Briefs …

De Beers donates masks, sanitisers to marginalised communities

THE De Beers Group has donated a consignment of hand sanitisers and masks to schoolchildren from marginalised communities in the Omaheke, Kunene and //Kharas regions.

De Beers country representative Daniel Kali hands over a donation of facemasks and sanitiser for the children of marginalised schools. Prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila received the donation. Picture: Contributed

The donation consisted of 7 500 masks, made by a community initiative at Keetmanshoop, and 1 500 litres of hand sanitiser produced by the University of Namibia.

De Beers’ country director, Daniel Kali, said the group has agreed … Read More

Fewer assaults during lockdown – Ndeitunga

by Ndanki Kahiurika

INSPECTOR general Sebastian Ndeitunga yesterday said crime rates have reduced significantly judging by reports 68 days before and during the Covid-19 state of emergency.

Police inspector general Sebastian Ndeitunga

He was speaking at a press conference held yesterday in Windhoek at the police headquarters. Ndeitunga said the reduction in crime is attributed to more visibility of the members of the security clusters during the state of emergency.

“During the 68 days before the state of emergency, 1 639 serious crimes were recorded nationally. This tally dropped to 1 369 during the state of emergency, accounting for a … Read More

Parents to sign Covid-19 indemnity forms

by Roxane Bayer and Charmaine Ngatjheue

SOME private schools have requested parents to sign Covid-19 indemnity forms once pupils return to school.

The entrance of the St. George’s Diocesan School.

One of these schools is St George’s Diocesan School in Windhoek.

Responding to questions from The Namibian yesterday, St Georges’ executive head Berdine Beukes said the recommendation for parents to sign indemnity forms emanates from the best practice guidelines of the Independent Schools Association of Southern Africa (Isasa), of which the school is a member.

Beukes said the school’s council also approved the decision.

She said the school ordinarily requires … Read More

Namibia at 25 confirmed cases

by Ndanki Kahiurika

NAMIBIA yesterday confirmed another Covid-19 infection.

The latest case involves a woman who had travelled from Cape Town, South Africa, to Namibia last week.

This brings the total number of infections in Namibia to 25, with 16 recoveries and nine active cases.

Minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula said the woman had travelled to Cape Town via bus at the end of March 2020 and returned by plane.

“She was placed in quarantine upon arrival. She was tested for Covid-19 and the result came out positive. This is now case number 25. She has a … Read More

Walvis Bay bank staff cleared of Covid-19

ALL 26 employees of the Walvis Bay branch of Standard Bank Namibia have tested negative for Covid-19, after they were sent into quarantine a week ago because a client who visited the branch on 12 May tested positive for the coronavirus disease.

The Walvis Bay branch of Standard Bank Namibia. Photo: Ester Mbathera

In a media statement, Standard Bank spokesperson Magreth Mengo said the bank “took a proactive stance to eliminate any doubts and offer peace of mind to our staff, clients, stakeholders and communities”.

The Walvis Bay branch was disinfected and the entire staff complement who worked in the … Read More

Ministry calms anxiety on schools reopening

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

THE Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture says it will closely monitor the resumption of face-to-face learning at schools this week to determine if adjustments are needed.

Image used for illustrative purposes only. Photo: iStock

Grades 11 and 12 are set to return to school on Wednesday.

Schools in all 14 regions will resume classes while Walvis Bay has returned to stage 1 lockdown after new Covid-19 cases were reported in the coastal town.

The country now has 24 confirmed cases with 14 recoveries.

Deputy education minister Faustina Caley said the ministry is sending pupils back to … Read More

All to wear masks at schools – Shangula

by Ndanki Kahiurika

PUPILS are being allowed to go back to school without fear of getting infected with Covid-19, health minister Kalumbi Shangula announced this morning.

Photo: File

He said the decision for Namibia to move to stage three and therefore allow face-to-face education, comes from the fact that there have been no local transmissions and all the cases have been imported into the country.

“There are restrictive measures and there is surveillance to detect any hotspots […] Schools are required to maintain the hygiene, have portable water, hand wash and sanitisers. All managers, teachers and learners are required to … Read More

Covid-19 Update … Namibia reports case 25

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula this morning confirmed that Namibia has recorded a new positive case of Covid-19, bringing the total number of cases to 25.

The latest case is a 32-year-old Namibian health worker who travelled to Cape Town, South Africa, at the end of March and returned on 29 May.

Shangula said the woman was put in quarantine upon arrival. She currently has a runny nose, but her condition is satisfactory, Shangula said.


Romanian couple recover from Covid-19

by Ndanki Kahiurika

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula this morning announced that the Romanian couple have now recovered from Covid-19.

He said … Read More

HEALTH UPDATE … Covid-19

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula this morning said the country has recorded another Covid-19 positive case of a 51-year-old man who arrived in Namibia on 5 May on a fishing vessel which was the same vessel where case 22 originated from.

The patient is one of the eight crew members comprising four Namibians and four non-Namibians.

The crew departed on 25 April to deliver salt and fish products in the Democratic Republic of Congo. While in that country, all crew members did not disembark from the vessel but Congolese nationals entered the vessel.

The minister, who was speaking at the daily … 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
Read More

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

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

by ESTER MBATHERA, OKERI NGUTJINAZO and CHARMAINE NGATJIHEUE

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

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

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

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

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

The Covid-19 pandemic around the globe

TRUMP THREATENS WHO WITHDRAWAL

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

WHO chief Tedros in the eye of the storm

NINA LARSON

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

AFRICA BACKS WHO, NEEDS HELP – RAMAPHOSA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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) … 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

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

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

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

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

BRITISH PM JOHNSON IN INTENSIVE CARE
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 www.namessentialservices.com. 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

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

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

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

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