Author: The Namibian Multimedia

Namibia eases Covid-19 restrictions

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

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

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

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

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

Mixed feelings as lockdowns end

MIKE COLLETT-WHITE

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

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

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

Coronavirus Briefs: Red Cross volunteers step up

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

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

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

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

Covid-19 patient in ICU

NAMIBIA has recorded another Covid-19 case.

Photo used for illustration purposes only.

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

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

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

Erongo steps up Covid-19 response

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

Neville Itope

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

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

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

Nkurenkuru clinic stalled: healthcare delayed amid pandemic

PETRUS MURONGA

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

Sirrka Ausiku

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

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

The Covid-19 pandemic around the globe

WHO SAYS THE AMERICAS ARE NEW EPICENTRE

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

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

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

Women lose husbands and then their land due to virus

KIM HARRISBERG

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

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

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

Coronavirus Briefs: Lorries advised to use Dune 7 road

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

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

ErongoRED closes head office due to Covid-19 scare

by Ester Mbathera

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

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

Suspected scamsters pose as Covid-19 testing team

by Ester Mbathera

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

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

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

“The young man came to me and … Read More

Coping with alcohol separation anxiety

by Yokany Oliveira

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

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

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

The … Read More

Alcohol ban fines hit N$100k

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

Photo: Henry Van Rooi

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

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

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

The Covid-19 pandemic around the globe

LOW VIRUS DEATH RATE BUT MIGRANT WORRIES FOR INDIA

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

Photo: AFP

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

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

International: Egyptian historian sees rising surveillance state

by Farid Farid

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

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

Walvis councillor orders businesses’ closure

by Ester Mbathera

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

Knowledge Ipinge

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

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

Schools a challenge for security cluster

by Namibia Press Agency

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

Erongo police chief Andreas Nelumbu.

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

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

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

The commissioner said consultations … Read More

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

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

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

Kalumbi Shangula
Read More

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

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

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

Walvis Bay parents applauding home learning

by Taati Niilenge

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

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

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

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

Pupils to be divided into smaller groups for teaching

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

Sanet Steenkamp

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

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

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

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

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

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

South Africa plans on easing the lockdown … Read More

Tailor donates masks to Ohangwena council

by Hileni Nembwaya

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

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

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

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

“Thank … Read More

Walvis Bay councillor calls for calm

by Ester Mbathera

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

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

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

Coronavirus Top Statistics

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

Deaths: 344 755 Recovered: 2 274 324

Most-affected countries

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

Most-affected African countries

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

Southern Africa numbers

South Africa: 21 343 cases; … Read More

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

by Yew Lun Tian

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

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

Yet another Covid-19 case

by Ndanki Kahiurika

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

Kalumbi Shangula


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

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

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

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

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

by Namibia Press Agency

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

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

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

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

Napwu and Nantu on Covid-19 measures

by Roxane Bayer

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

Petrus Nevonga

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

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

According to them, … Read More

The Arts Get Creative In Murky Times

by James Jamu

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

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

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

A modern David and Goliath story has unfolded.

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

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

Angolan nationals stuck in Namibia

by Ester Mbathera

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

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

Photo: Air Namibia

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

The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation … Read More

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

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

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

Kalumbi Shangula

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

Read More

Tobacco craving lands SA citizens in jail

by Luqman Cloete

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

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

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

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

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

by Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka

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

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

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

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

Prices of Covid-19 essentials up 1000%

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

Live … Reopening of schools in phases

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

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

Sanet Steenkamp

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

Steenkamp said children’s health is priority.

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

Health faced with disease control challenges amid Covid-19

by Charmaine Ngatjihueue

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

Kalumbi Shangula

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

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

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

No funds for hawkers market

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

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

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

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

Salt company keeps going through virus lockdown

by Taati Niilenge

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

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

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

Nama festival postponed due to Covid-19

by Luqman Cloete

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

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

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

Nam clarifies border crossing for Angolans needing medical help

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

Calls to boost job creation

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

The retrenchments took place between 27 March and … Read More

Only the needy must get aid – Tjongarero

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

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

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

Coronavirus news briefs: 84 Namibians return from SA

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

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

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


Nanso launches food aid programme


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

Live (Ended) … Updates on Emergency Income Grant payments

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

Those without documents do not qualify for the grant.

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

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

Health minister announces 10 recoveries

by Ndanki Kahiurika

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

Kalumbi Shangula

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

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

In Africa, South … Read More

Public transport operators warned against excessive pricing

by Hileni Nembwaya

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

File photo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daan Strauss. Photo: MICT

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

He said working remotely … Read More

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

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

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

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

N$2 000 for not wearing a mask

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

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

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

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

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

Shifeta launches conservation relief fund

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Confusion over Zim, Nam Covid-19 test kits donation

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bertha Katjivena

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

Live (Ended) … EU Grant to Namibia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ben Nangombe

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

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

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

LIVE (Ended) … Covid-19 impact on Agriculture

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

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

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

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

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

Lucia Iipumbu

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

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

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

Robert Kahimise

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

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

WHO donates PPE to Namibia

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

Live … Social mobilisation and community engagement (Ended)

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

Esther Muinjangue

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

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

Last arriving passengers not quarantined – Shangula

by Yokany Oliveira

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

Kalumbi Shangula

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

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

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

The State of Emergency Proclamation Act 9 … Read More

Community transmission Covid-19 cases suspected

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

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

President Hage Geingob

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pohamba Shifeta

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

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

Medicines regulator warns against Covid-19 self-testing

by Terttu Newaka

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

Photo: Reuters

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

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

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

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

Ben Nangombe

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

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

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

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

Govt considers ring fencing loans, mortgages

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

The homeless march on amid Covid-19

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

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

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

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

Pastor Shalom Nghifitikeko told … Read More

Capricorn commits N$5m to fight Covid-19

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

Thinus Prinsloo


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

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

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

Orano donates Covid-19 protective gear to police

by Adam Hartman

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

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

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


The officers stationed within … Read More

Panel discussion: Economic Income Grant update

Iipumbu Shiimi. Photo: Shinovene Immanuel

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

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

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

Coastal residents donate to help needy

by Taati Niilenge

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

Photos: Contributed.


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

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


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

Erongo police stations inundated with emergency travel requests

by Ester Mbathera


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

Photo: Nampa


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


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


“Most of the requests are motivated … Read More

Alcohol abuse leads to GBV despite lockdown

by Ndanki Kahuirika

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

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

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

Kahimise said the city authorities have … Read More

Health worker falls victim to Covid-19

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

Namibians encouraged to take lockdown rules seriously

by Taati Niilenge

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

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

German national recovered

by Nomhle Kangootui

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

Kalumbi Shangula

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

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

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

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

Hage Geingob

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

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

Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila

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

Kalumbi Shangula

He urged the … Read More

Walvis Bay business community pools resources to fight coronavirus

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

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

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

The donation is valued … Read More

Health tracing SA couple with coronavirus

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

Quarantined group moves from Greiters centre

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

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

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

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

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

Covid-19 restrictions apply countrywide

by Werner Menges

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

Peya Mushelenga

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

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

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

Ongwediva forcibly shuts down open market, leaving vendors stranded

by Hileni Nembwaya


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

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


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

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

Update: Namibia confirms 11 Covid-19 infections

by Charmaine Ngatjuheue

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

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

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

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

Shangula disappointed about lockdown compliance

by Shinovene Immanuel

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

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

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


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

Shangula … Read More

29 truck drivers under quarantine

by Ndanki Kahuirika

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

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


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

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

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

Update: Hobas Lodge staff to self-quarantine

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

Emergency regulations apply to all regions – health minister

by Shinovene Immanuel

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

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

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

“Namibia … Read More

Covid-19 lockdown coincides with payday

by Ester Mbathera

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

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

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

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

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

Khorixas street vendors struggling

by Clemans Miyanicwe

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

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

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

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


“It’s very slow; … Read More

Passenger restrictions for taxi drivers

by Ndanki Kahuirika

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

Photo: Garwin Beukes

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


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

Mining operations discontinued

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

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

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

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

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

Keetmanshoop shops implement safe distancing measures

by Luqman Cloete

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

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

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

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

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

“Equally, … Read More

Budget tabling delayed

by Nghinomenwa Erastus

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

Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi

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

He, however, assured … Read More

Two people under quarantine at Oshikango

by Hileni Nembwaya

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

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

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

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

Employee engagement key to calming Covid-19 uncertainty

by Staff reporter

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

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

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

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

Covid-19 measures target informal traders

by Taati Niilenge and Nghinomenwa Erastus

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

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

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

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

Pharmacies, retailers hike hygiene essentials prices

by Nghinomenwa Erastus

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

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

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

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