Category: General

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

Elections chief foresees physical distancing challenge

by Sakeus Iikela

The Electoral Commission of Namibia might have trouble maintaining physical distancing of people during the counting and verification of votes in the upcoming regional and local authority elections scheduled for November this year.

Photo: File-Nampa

The ECN’s chief electoral officer, Theo Mujoro, says this is one of the challenges the commission faces in its attempt to organise the upcoming elections under the unfamiliar circumstances of a pandemic.

“The counting and verification of votes requires that other people would want to see what you are doing. I think that is one of the things that we will have … Read More

SSC pays N$22m to workers affected by pandemic

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

The Social Security Commission has paid out N$22,1 million to people who lost their employment as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

These funds form part of the commission’s national employment and salary protection scheme.

Labour minister Utoni Nujoma said in the National Assembly on Wednesday the money was paid out in respect of 5 483 out of 6 300 applications from unemployed workers.

“This process continues,” Nujoma said, noting that the protection scheme ends on 31 July.

He said to date, the SSC has received a total of 2 200 applications from employers for cash … Read More

Special voting arrangements for Covid-19 patients

by Sakeus Iikela

The Electoral Commission of Namibia will arrange special voting for Covid-19 patients for the upcoming regional and local authority elections.

This will be informed by the number of people who will be in hospitals, isolation and quarantine facilities during the period determined for the conduct of the elections.

ECN’s chief electoral officer Theo Mujoro said the commission will put together teams that will be sent to various quarantine facilities to register and facilitie the voting process for these people. Mujoro said the commission will work hand in hand with the health ministry to conduct this process.

Any … Read More

Baby tests negative for Covid-19

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

THE baby who initially tested positive for Covid-19 after contamination from the mother has come out negative.

This was announced this morning by health minister Kalumbi Shangula as part of the daily health update.

Shangula said the baby, who is case 362, was reported on 3 July as positive.

“He was born by the mother who was recently diagnosed with Covid-19, case 296. The baby was tested too early,  five hours after delivery,” he said.

The minister said as per international standards, the baby was retested again after 24 hours and then after 72 hours after delivery. … Read More

Zim minister axed over Nam-linked Covid-19 tests supply deal

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

Zimbabwean health minister Obediah Moyo, who has been implicated in alleged corruption with the purchase of Covid-19 tests involving a company registered in Namibia, has been dismissed.

Photo via Twitter @EversonMushava

Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa sent his beleaguered health minister packing for conduct inappropriate with his duties in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement was signed by Zimbabwe’s chief secretary to the president and cabinet, Mischeck Sibanda.

Moyo handpicked a Namibian-registered company, Jaji Investments, owned by medical doctor Prince Mushininga, who is working in Namibia and closely linked to Mnangagwa, to supply rapid Covid-19 test kits from … Read More

Fisheries Observer Agency office at Walvis Bay closed

by Ester Mbathera

The Fisheries Observer Agency office at Walvis Bay was closed on Tuesday afternoon after an employee tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The employee was taken into state isolation while two others are in self-quarantine.

The agency’s chief executive officer, Stanley Ndara, confirmed the closure. He said the employee who tested positive for the virus visited the agency’s operations and administration departments on 25 June, and considering that the employee had contact and interaction with other staff members the associated risk of the virus spreading was “very likely”.

Ndara added that the departments would be decontaminated on … 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

Govt yet to address risk allowance debate

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue 

The Ministry of Health and Social Services says it is still discussing the question whether healthcare workers dealing with Covid-19 should be paid a risk allowance.

Speaking at a briefing at State House in Windhoek on Namibia’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic on Monday, the health ministry’s executive director, Ben Nangombe, said the issue of paying risk allowances to health workers dealing with Covid-19 was raised with the health ministry and it has discussed it with the Office of the Prime Minister and the Public Service Commission (PSC), which is responsible for human resources in the public … 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 status quo remains for Nam

by Arlana Shikongo and Charmaine Ngatjiheue

PRESIDENT Hage Geingob this afternoon said Namibia’s 13 regions will remain in the current stage 4 of the Covid-19 state of emergency, while Erongo remains in stage 3.

President Hage Geingob. Photo: Nam Presidency

The president made this announcement during a media briefing at State House on Monday afternoon, in which he indicated that 90% of the Covid-19 positive cases are from Walvis Bay.

He added that while Namibia’s new cases are increasing at a fast pace due to the spread in Walvis Bay, there is no evidence at the moment of transmission of … Read More

Covid-19 strikes blow on new mother

CHARMAINE NGATJIHEUE and ESTER MBATHERA

A WALVIS BAY mother who passed the contagious novel coronavirus on to her newborn child is now hoping for the best for both of them as the country grapples with a spiking number of cases.

Her pain is much the agony of the multitudes of Covid-19 stricken victims in the Erongo region, which has now become the epicentre of the virus in Namibia.

This comes after minister of health Kalumbi Shangula announced another set of bad news yesterday, showing a challenging scenario at the coastal town.

Yesterday, the minister announced 38 new infections, 37 of … 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

UPDATE: Covid-19 reaches Ohangwena

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

NAMIBIA has recorded 38 new Covid-19 positive cases, health minister Kalumbi Shangula announced on Sunday.

In a statement, the minister said the new cases are all are Namibians.

“One case is from Engela, in Ohangwena region and the rest are from Walvis Bay,” the minister said.

He added that the Engela case is a 25-year-old woman who travelled from Walvis Bay on17 June 2020. She was put in quarantine on 25 June 2020.

“A specimen was taken from her on 26 June 2020,” the minister added.

Of the new cases, 22 are females and 16 male with … Read More

Parents shouldn’t be free to risk their children’s lives – Shikongo

by Clemans Miyanicwe

Secretary general of the United Democratic Front Women’s League (UDFWL) Dorcas Shikongo says parents should not be at liberty to send their children to school amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Photo used for illustration purposes only.

“I believe the government is keeping parents hostage psychologically when expecting them to decide whether to send their kids to school or not. Let it be categorically clear that parents can’t be at liberty to risk the precious lives of the future generations,” Shikongo says.

She says no parent feels like homeschooling amid the pandemic and many have no or inadequate resources … Read More

Walvis Bay field hospital ready

by Ester Mbathera

The Namibian Defence Force yesterday handed the new military field hospital over to the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) at the Walvis Bay District Hospital.

The facility was built in anticipation of a growing number of Covid-19 cases in the Erongo region.

The 18-bed field hospital was constructed at the same site the failed 150-bed containerised Covid-19 hospital was to be built by the private sector in April.

Erongo regional health director Anna Jonas received the field hospital on behalf of the health ministry.

“We have increasing cases daily, and this will just augment what … Read More

Topnaar trusts feed community

by Taati Niilenge

THREE community trusts at Walvis Bay have decided to meet the government halfway by distributing food to the needy.

HELPING HAND … Glen Kasper (20), the youngest member of the Topnaar Community Foundation Trust, and Rooidon Manale pictured handing over food parcels to ouma Katrina Swartbooi of Klipneus farm on Wednesday.

The Topnaar Community Foundation Trust, Topnaar Concession Trust and Kuiseb Delta Development Trust handed over food hampers to over 200 households and individuals in the Topnaar community on Wednesday.

“We decided to help the government in this Covid-19 fight. Attempts are already being made by the … Read More

Letter: “Let the Virus Take its Toll”

IN NAMIBIA WE went into lockdown with very few Covid-19 cases, thinking it would be quick and we would be back in business in no time.

For the first time since independence our government had all the power, with a state of emergency called. The old saying goes: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Our already struggling economy has almost come to a standstill. People are losing their jobs and businesses are closing their doors. Yet as far as I know our government ministers and employees have not taken a reduction in pay, although you struggle to get service … Read More

Update: Newborn contracts Covid-19

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

A NEWBORN baby has tested positive for Covid-19, health minister Kalumbi Shangula announced on Saturday afternoon.

The newborn is part of Namibia’s 26 new positive Covid-19 cases recorded.

The baby tested positive for coronavirus after the mother had contracted the disease, Shangula told The Namibian.

According to the minister, all the new cases are of Namibians with 25 from Walvis Bay and one from Windhoek. This brings Namibia’s total number of cases to 375. The country now has 360 active cases and 25 recoveries.

“Among them is a newborn baby from Windhoek. The rest are from Walvis … Read More

Khorixas former mayor and family in self-quarantine

by Clemans Miyanicwe

Former mayor of Khorixas, Elizabeth Geises (55), and her family are in self-quarantine.

Geises said she, two children and two grandchildren have self-quarantined at their house, after it emerged a visitor from Walvis Bay was alerted to the nearest health facility. “This after someone who visited a shop (at Walvis Bay), that the visitor also visited, tested positive for Covid-19,” Geises said.

“Our temperature is taken daily, and it’s fine,” the former mayor said.

The Namibian learnt that the visitor is quarantined at a local lodge at the northwestern town.

Geises said she and her family were … 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

Health decentralises Covid-19 testing

by Ester Mbathera

STATE facilities are overwhelmed with specimen for Covid-19 and the ministry of health has engaged private laboratories to assist with Covid-19 testing due to the expansion of targeted testing.

Health executive director Ben Nangombe told The Namibian yesterday that the process will be facilitated by a team responsible for laboratories under the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s nine pillars for the management of the response to Covid-19.

“The backlog is indicative of hard work being done by the surveillance team and also an indication that the expanded targeted testing that is underway is producing results. People are being … Read More

Pastors warned over permit letters

by Ester Mbathera

THE police in the Erongo region have warned church and traditional authority leaders in the region against issuing community members with letters recommending travel.

File photo

Movement from Walvis Bay, Arandis and Swakopmund is restricted in line with Covid-19 stage 3 regulations, but people at these towns may apply for permits to travel in case of essential medical treatment, or any other reason considered sufficient by an authorised police officer.

Police community affairs commander for the Erongo region Ileni Shapumba says police stations are inundated on a daily basis with applications for travel permits related to death, … Read More

UPDATE: Namibia records 42 new Covid-19 cases

Minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula this morning said there are 42 new Covid-19 cases, one in Windhoek and the rest at Walvis Bay. He said 36 are female and 16 male. The youngest case is two months old and the oldest is 56. All of them are in a satisfactory condition.

The minister said there is one new recovery, case number 24. The country now has 335 confirmed cases, 25 recoveries and 310 active cases. There are no deaths.

Total samples tested stand at 10 253 and 592 tests were conducted yesterday, which is a new record.… Read More

UPDATE: Namibia’s Covid-19 cases rise to 293

Minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula says Namibia has eight new Covid-19 cases. All are Namibians from Walvis Bay. Four are males and four females. They are all in a stable condition, he said.

Case number 286 is a 28-year-old woman and a contact of a confirmed case.

Case number 287 is a 26-year-old man and also a contact of a confirmed case. He is displaying symptoms.

Case number 288 is a 13-year-old girl and a contact of a confirmed case.

Case number 289 is a 30-year-old woman and a contact of a confirmed case. She is displaying … Read More

Oshana school closes, all to be tested

by Hileni Nembwaya

The Oshana education directorate has temporarily closed Mweshipandeka Secondary School for face-to-face teaching after one of the pupils at the school tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.

Photo: Contributed.

A team of health officials will be dispatched to the school to conduct testing on all pupils, teachers and workers.

Boarders at the school’s hostel will be quarantined for four days, or until the test results of all pupils are available and cleared of Covid-19.

Oshana education director Hileni Amukana in a press release said the regional task force on Covid-19 is in charge of the situation and … Read More

UNFPA aids front line health workers

by Tuyeimo Haidula

THE United Nations Population Fund office in Namibia handed over personal protective equipment to the health ministry for its workers on Monday.

FOR THE HEALTH WORKERS … The United Nations Population Fund country representative in Namibia Dennia Gayle and health minister Kalumbi Shangula. Photo: Contributed.

UNFPA country representative Dennia Gayle said the equipment is in support of government’s ongoing efforts to protect health workers and to respond to president Hage Geingob’s call for all stakeholders to hold hands in the spirit of Harambee to collectively respond to and defeat this pandemic in Namibia.

The donation, worth N$2 … Read More

Police probe ‘Covid-19 formula’

by Ester Mbathera and Okeri Ngutjinazo

ERONGO police officers have launched an investigation into the sale of an alleged Covid-19 prevention formula being touted by a Chinese national at Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay.

POLICE SEARCH … Members of the police’s investigative unit during a raid on a Chinese shop at Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay, on Monday afternoon. The police were called to the establishment after it was reported that the owner of the shop was selling a formula that is claimed to prevent Covid-19. Photo: Ester Mbathera

On Monday afternoon, officers raided several shops and warehouses as well as a house owned … Read More

Covid-19: Panic strikes at Mweshipandeka school

by Hileni Nembwaya

A 20-YEAR-OLD pupil at Mweshipandeka Secondary School in Ongwediva, Oshana region, tested positive for Covid-19, leaving more than 300 pupils and teachers at the school in panic.

Photo: Contributed.

During the lockdown, the pupil allegedly travelled to Walvis Bay, the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic in Namibia and returned to resume face-to-face learning at the school on 5 June.

He and six other pupils who had travelled from towns in Erongo region have since been placed under quarantine in isolated rooms in an effort to curb any possible further spread and risks of infections.

He was tested … Read More

UPDATE: Namibia records 52 new Covid-19 cases

Namibia reports 52 new Covid-19 cases, minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula said at the Covid-19 communication centre this morning. He said 51 are from Walvis Bay and one is from a quarantine facility.

He said 34 of the new cases involve males and 18 females. The youngest one is a year old and the oldest is 59.

One of the new cases is a Polish national.

This brings Namibia’s total number of cases to 257, with 24 recoveries. The total number of tested samples stand at 9 551, with 811 contacts.… Read More

Two new Covid-19 cases Tuesday night

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

Minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula on Tuesday night announced two new positive Covid-19 cases.
“One from Walvis Bay and one from Oshana. One has no established contacts with a confirmed case. One presented with symptoms at the time of specimen collection. Both are in a stable condition,” he said.

This brings Namibia’s total number of Covid-19 cases to 205.

Shangula said case number 204 is a 39-year-old Namibian and a resident of the Ohangwena region. She went to Oshakati on 24 June to visit her child.
Shangula said the patient visited relatives at Walvis … Read More

UPDATE: Namibia’s Covid-19 cases at 203

Health update: Minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula this morning announced seven new Covid-19 cases, all from Walvis Bay, and all in a satisfactory condition. This brings the total confirmed cases countrywide to 203, with no deaths, 24 recoveries and 179 active cases.

A total of 9 118 samples have been tested and 875 are people in quarantine.

As all 13 regions enter stage 4 of the state of emergency, Shangula urged the public to familiarise themselves with the new measures and comply with them.… 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

Erongo quarantine: ‘We’re going to die here’

ADAM HARTMAN and ESTER MBATHERA

NAMIBIANS quarantined at state facilities in the Erongo region have complained about the state of these facilities, saying many are not up to standard.

A patient who spent two weeks in the Walvis Bay State Hospital Covid-19 isolation ward after testing positive earlier this month, has described the treatment at the ward as traumatic. Photo: Contributed

A patient who spent two weeks in the Walvis Bay State Hospital Covid-19 isolation ward after testing positive earlier this month, has described the treatment at the ward as traumatic.

He says it exposes Namibia’s lack of capacity to … 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

Namibia at 150 Covid-19 cases

by Ndanki Kahiurika

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula this morning announced that 14 new Covid-19 infections have been recorded at Walvis Bay, bringing the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country to 150.

Shangula in a statement said all cases are from Walvis Bay and some are infections from people who had contact with people previously confirmed to have contracted the virus.

“We have 14 new confirmed cases. The total number of confirmed cases is at 150. They are all from Walvis Bay. Three are part of active case search. Eleven presented with Covid-19 related signs and symptoms. The persons … Read More

Namibia’s Covid-19 cases at 121

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

Namibia on Friday reported a record 16 new coronavirus infections, all from Walvis Bay.

According to the information at hand, 15 of the people who tested positive were tested on 21 June, with a sample for testing taken from one of the cases on 24 June.

In a statement, health and social services minister Kalumbi Shangula said ten of the cases had contact with previously confirmed cases.

“Eleven displayed signs and symptoms when they were seen,” he said.

Case 106 is a 40-year-old Namibian woman with no known contact to a confirmed case.

Case 107 is a … 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

UPDATE: Namibia’s Covid-19 cases at 102

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula this evening announced that Namibia has recorded 12 new confirmed coronavirus infections, bringing the country’s Covid-19 cases to 102.

Speaking on the NBC, Shangula said the new cases are from Erongo – eleven at Walvis Bay and one at Swakopmund.

He also said seven of the confirmed cases had contact with other people with the virus, and six of the new cases had no symptoms of Covid-19 when they were tested. … Read More

Oshana pupils under quarantine

by Hileni Nembwaya

The education directorate in the Oshana region has placed 11 pupils who recently travelled from high-risk areas in Erongo region under quarantine.

Some of the pupils have been placed under quarantine at isolation facilities in Oshana while others have been directed to go into self-isolation until health officials have cleared them of possible novel coronavirus infection.

The acting deputy director of education in Oshana, Hilma Nuunyango-George, told The Namibian that none of the pupils under quarantine or in self-isolation is showing any signs of Covid-19.

However, the directorate is still waiting for their coronavirus test results from … 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

Opinion: Say No to Covid-19 Stigma

by Ester Mbathera

EVERY TIME someone demands the list of names of those who tested positive for Covid-19, I cringe.

Ester Mbathera

Have we now turned into hell’s judges and jury whose job is to separate the saints from the sinners? Unlike other viruses, this one gets to you when you least expect it. So what is the rationale for wanting to know who has the virus?

No one deserves to contract Covid-19.

More so, no one deserves to be treated with disgust when in most cases one is innocently exposed to the virus.

Stigma is not something everyone is … Read More

People flee Erongo for the north

by Hileni Nembwaya

Scores of people have been travelling out of the Erongo region to areas such as the far north of the country, after restrictions on parts of the region were lifted.

File photo.

This has raised fears of a possible transmission of the coronavirus to these areas, as the Erongo region has become the hotspot of the disease.

Walvis Bay has recently become the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic, prompting the suspension of issuing of travel permits to people travelling from the region, to combat the spread of the virus.

Oshana health director, Johanna Haimene told The Namibian … Read More

Covid-19 scare at police headquarters

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue and Ester Mbathera

INSPECTOR general Sebastian Ndeitunga yesterday sent around 40 staff members from a department at the police headquarters home after one of them was tested for Covid-19.

The Namibian understands that the staff members are all from the Directorate of Gender and Welfare on the fifth floor of the police building.

The employee who was tested is expected to receive his Covid-19 results today, while the rest of the department has now been subjected to quarantine.

Ndeitunga told The Namibian yesterday that the employee who has been subjected to a Covid-19 test allegedly came in … Read More

Covid-19: Prisons try to keep virus out

by Arlana Shikongo

INMATES detained at the Windhoek Correctional Facility say there are no measures at the prison to protect them from the new coronavirus.

INSIDERS … Some inmates at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility congregated to see their warden on Tuesday morning. Some inmates are seen wearing masks. Photo: Henry Van Rooi

“We are under threat. We have been on lockdown since March, but we don’t even get soap,” an inmate who contacted The Namibian anonymously, said.

The inmate complained about overcrowding, a lack of temperature screening of prisoners, and no personal protective equipment for wardens and officers.
“We … 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

Covid-19 prevention now a personal responsibility

by Ester Mbathera

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula says now that the whole country is out of stage 1 of the Covid-19 state of emergency restrictions the responsibility to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus lies on each individual.

In an interview with The Namibian this afternoon, Shangula urged the public to still practise social distancing and all other Covid-19 guidelines to reduce the chances of getting infected with the virus.

“We are now in the stage where the responsibility falls on the individual rather than the government. Government responsibility was on stage one where government enforced measures. Now when … Read More

Update: Namibia reports five new Covid-19 cases

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

Namibia has recorded five more cases of Covid-19, health minister Kalumbi Shangula announced on Tuesday evening.

Kalumbi Shangula

This cases, which are all from Walvis Bay, bring the country’s number of confirmed novel coronavirus infections to 72.

“These cases are part of the batch that was analysed yesterday but could only be completed today,” Shangula said.

Case 68 is a 41-year-old Namibian woman from Walvis Bay. According to Shangula, she has had no known contact with a confirmed novel coronavirus case.

“She was swabbed on 20 June as part of active case search. She had Covid-19-related signs … Read More

//Kharas gets masks to combat Covid-19

by Luqman Cloete

The ministry of trade and industrialisation has donated 14 000 masks to vulnerable people and senior citizens in the //Kharas region to help combat the spread of Covid-19.

MASK DONATION … //Kharas governor Aletha Frederick receives the donation from trade and industrialization ministry regional head for //Kharas region, Johannes Kisting and seamstress Magda Vries.

//Kharas governor Aletha Frederick, receiving the mask donation for distribution among the vulnerable, on Tuesday expressed her gratitude to trade ministry officials.

Johannes Kisting, the ministry’s regional head in //Kharas, said the masks were produced by small businesses in the region with material … Read More

2 000 to be tested at Walvis by Friday

by Adam Hartman

A testing exercise aimed at having 2 000 people at Walvis Bay checked for Covid-19 by Friday is set to start tomorrow.

The active case identification exercise’s objective is to establish the extent of the spread of Covid-19 in the Walvis Bay district, and to use data collected to plan for response activities in the district, Erongo governor Neville Andre announced on Tuesday afternoon.

“Erongo is faced with the mammoth task of ensuring that we contain the virus – it is here with us and amongst us,” he said during a press conference at Swakopmund.

Over the … 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

Some hope for Walvis Bay restaurants, boat operators, craft vendors

by Taati Niilenge
 
Restaurant owners, arts and craft vendors, boat operators and residents of Walvis Bay were smiling this morning, as they could finally operate and enjoy meals with friends and family.

Places like the Walvis Bay waterfront, which looked like a ghost town for the past three months, was busy today as locals were looking for their favourite meals.
 
Some customers said they especially looked forward to sitting at restaurants situated near the water again. Others said they have missed enjoying drinks with family and friends, as sitting at home alone or ordering food was not fun. 
 … 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

UPDATE: Namibia records four new Covid-19 cases

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula says Namibia has recorded four new cases of Covid-19.

Case number 64 is a 71-year male lorry driver who arrived from South Africa and traveled to Oshikango.

He is in a satisfactory condition.

Case 65 is a 65-year-old man from Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay, and a contact of case 35.

Case 66 is a 50-year-old woman, also from Kuisebmond and a contact of case 35.

The last new confirmed infection, case 67, is a 51-year-old woman, also from Kuisebmond, whose contacts are unknown and was part of an active case search.

Namibia now has 67 confirmed Covid-19 … Read More

Namport continues operation despite possible Covid-19 exposure

by Ester Mbathera

Namibia Ports Authority employees are undergoing a contact testing and self isolation process after a spouse of a staff member from the harbour parastatal’s administration block at Walvis Bay recently tested positive for Covid-19.

Tino !Hanabeb, commercial executive at Namport, told The Namibian that operations are continuing as precautionary disinfection of areas in which the employee’s movements were traced have taken place. 

!Hanabeb said the company has adopted a rotational shift system and the shift of the affected employees ended on Monday.

“Nothing has been closed; the department is still operational. No one was sent home as the … Read More

Nation needs psychosocial support

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue and Ester Mbathera

Justice minister Yvonne Dausab has called on the public to refrain from stigmatising lorry drivers and people from the Erongo region.

Yvonne Dausab

Speaking at a Covid-19 situation update at State House in Windhoek on Monday, Dausab said the public needs to learn that the country finds itself in the current situation and it should be dealt with as a collective.

“Members of the public should not stigmatise people from Walvis Bay and truck drivers, especially because of the situation we find ourselves in. To stigmatise or discriminate against people because of the situation … Read More

Geingob addresses medicine shortages

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

President Hage Geingob says he has communicated with South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa on the issue of medicine shortages in private medical facilities on the local front.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and president Hage Geingob
Photo: NamPresidency

This comes after South Africa came up with new regulations to disallow the export of certain products, which has led to medicine shortages in the private sector, including vaccines for children.

The severe shortages are as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown affecting logistics, which has led to countries such as South Africa changing its export regulations on essential products .… Read More

Walvis Bay Post Office closed due to Covid-19

by Ester Mbathera

NamPost has announced the temporary closure of the Walvis Bay Post Office due to a possible exposure to Covid-19.

The post office is to be closed from tomorrow (23 June) until Friday (26 June).

NamPost corporate communications manager Wilson Shikoto in a media statement this afternoon said the post office will be closed for disinfection.

The Kuisebmund and Narraville post offices will close on Tuesday for precautionary disinfection and reopen on Wednesday.

“The decision comes after careful consideration of the possible risk exposure as one of our employees at Walvis Bay Post Office might have been 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

Pupils await Geingob’s call

by Sakeus Iikela, Charmaine Ngatjiheue and Hileni Nembwaya

PRESIDENT Hage Geingob is expected to brief the nation on the government’s direction with regards to the anticipated resumption of face-to-face classes today.

Hage Geingob

The Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture yesterday issued a directive to halt the resumption of face-to-face classes for pre-primary children and Grades 1 to 3.

The resumption was in line with the government’s stage 4 lockdown exit plan.

Minister of education, arts and culture Anna Nghipondoka said pupils who are already at hostels should remain there until further notice.

More than 300 000 pupils were expected … Read More

Walvis needs 600 quarantine beds

by Ester Mbathera and Charmaine Ngatjiheue

WALVIS Bay, which has become the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic in Namibia, is short of 600 beds for quarantine purposes.

The coastal town’s Covid-19 response team is in dire need of beds for contact isolation.

The beds are part of a list of requirements sent to Walvis Bay Urban constituency councillor Knowledge Ipinge’s office on 18 June.

In email correspondence seen by The Namibian yesterday, the acting senior medical officer at Walvis Bay State Hosptial, Dr Martha Ntinda, said the hospital also requires accommodation facilities for medical staff, six cellphones, 100 boxes of … Read More

Virus worries Kuisebmund

by Taati Niilenge
 
THE usually busy streets of Kuisebmund were empty today. Most residents are staying indoors after the recent spike in Covid-19 cases in the area.

STAY HOME … Most streets at Kuisebmund were unusually quiet today.


 
“We were complaining about the police and leaders, but they were only trying … People are shaken for the first few hours when they hear about cases, but then they go out again,” Meitavelo Simon from Kuisebmund said.
 
 “I didn’t see many people outside today. It is kind of funny to see my street less busy. Maybe we are finally listening,” Amutenya … Read More

No exit from Erongo

by Ester Mbathera

ERONGO police commander commissioner Andreas Nelumbu has announced a directive to stop issuing of travel permits out of the region, to contain the spread of Covid-19.

“There will be no travel permits issued by the police throughout the region until further notice,” said the commissioner on Sunday afternoon.

Nelumbu also urged the public to strictly observe the safety measures put in place by the government, which include staying at home, and limiting unnecessary movements at all times.

The region’s community affairs commander Ileni Shapumba added that the public should not expect security forces to be out patrolling … Read More

UPDATE: Namibia’s Covid-19 cases at 55

Namibia reports nine new cases of Covid-19, minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula announced this morning.

Case number 47 is a 28-year-old from Kuisebmund, Walvis Bay. She has no travel history.

Case number 48 is a 2-year-old from Kuisebmund, who came in contact with case number 35.

Case number 49 is also from Kuisebmund without any known contacts. Case number 50 travelled from India.

She is 28 and in quarantine. Case number 51 is a 36-year-old from Kuisebmund, followed by case number 52 from Walvis Bay.

Case number 53 is a 51-year-old from Kuisebmund. Case 54 is also … Read More

Scores flock for Covid-19 tests

by Taati Niilenge

MEMBERS of the Walvis Bay community flocked to the Kuisebmond community hall on Saturday to be tested for Covid-19 after a message was circulated on social media that mass testing for the virus was taking place at the venue.

The residents were however turned away and told that the testing was only for those who had been contacted during contact tracing.

The anxious residents said they were disappointed at being turned away because are eager to know their status.

Some were hoping to get their results written on paper so that they can present them to the … Read More

Air Namibia head office a no-go zone

by Ester Mbathera
 
Air Namibia has announced its head office in Windhoek wil be a restricted area until 5 July.

Elia Erastus

The company’s acting chief executive officer, Elia Erastus, said this measure was taken after an investigation confirmed one of their staff members visited the Namibian Airports Company (NAC) head office on 15 June.
 
Yesterday, the NAC announced a 14-day stage 1 lockdown of their head office, because one of its employees resides at 77 on Independence, reported as one of the places visited by Covid-19 case number 33.
 
“The suspected officer has been on duty since then and … Read More

Namibia’s Covid-19 cases at 46

HEALTH UPDATE: Namibia reports one more case of Covid-19, minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula announced this morning at the Covid-19 communication centre.

The new case involves a 31-year-old Namibian woman who travelled from Pretoria, South Africa on 17 June.

This brings Namibia’s total cases to 46.

The patient is asymptomatic and in a satisfactory condition. Shangula says Namibia now has 19 recoveries and 27 active cases.

So far 6 837 samples have been tested, with 150 tested yesterday.

Namibia has quarantined 3 213 people, with 684 still quarantined.

Shangula yesterday announced five confirmed cases of Covid-19 at … Read More

Airports company locks down

by Ester Mbathera

CHIEF executive officer of the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) Bisey Uirab today announced a 14-day stage1 lockdown of the company’s head office.

Bisey Uirab

The lockdown is effective from 22 June until 6 July.

“The decision comes after careful consideration of a possible risk of exposure as one of our employees who works at the head office resides at 77 on Independence that was reported as one of the places case number 33 visited,” Uirab said.  
 
Meanwhile, FNB Swakopmund has also temporarily closed its doors for two days after reports of a close relative of a … Read More

Couple feeds Walvis children in lockdown

by Taati Niilenge

A YOUNG Walvis Bay couple has taken it upon themselves to lessen the burden of families negatively affected by the lockdown by feeding children.

FEEDING WALVIS BAY… Anastacia de Klerk and Justin Herbert happy to see children coming to collect food at their Narraville residence at Walvis Bay.

Anastacia de Klerk and Justin Herbert of Narraville decided to mobilise resources from other residents of the town to buy food, as they realised that many children at the town were roaming the streets hungry.
 
“Many people’s salaries were cut. Those who used to sell things cannot do … Read More

Hardap on high alert after Covid-19 case

by Luqman Cloete

THE Hardap region is on high alert after its first case of Covid-19 was confirmed by the health ministry on Thursday.

Mariental High School

Governor Menthos April told a press conference at Mariental on Friday that surveillance teams are hard at work tracing contacts.

He revealed that 17 people who were identified as possible contacts were tested on Thursday, and 10 others more were to be tested on Friday.

The governor said all contacts had been placed under quarantine at the Hardap Resort owned by Namibia Wildlife Resorts near Mariental.

April said the Mariental High School pupil … Read More

Live (ended): Namibia’s Covid-19 cases at 40

HEALTH UPDATE: Minister of health and social services Kalumbi Shangula this morning said case number 22 is making good progress, but remains in the intensive care unit.

Namibia has however reported a new Covid-19 case involving a 44-year-old man at Walvis Bay. He is asymptomatic and has not come in contact with any known cases. Contact tracing has commenced.

Namibia now has 40 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 19 recoveries. The country has not reported any deaths.


PANEL DISCUSSION: This morning’s panellists at the Covid-19 communication centre are discussing the impact of Covid-19 on tuberculosis (TB) patients.

Panellists are Paulus
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

Virus stalls building projects

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE CONSTRUCTION industry faces huge challenges in completing a number of projects.

PROJECTS STIFLED … Despite Namibia being in stage 3 of the lockdown exit plan, the construction industry is faced with raw material shortages as a result of a backlog in imports. Namibia imports about 80% of its raw material from South Africa, and with import backlogs, the construction of many local projects has been delayed. Photo: Garwin Beukes

Stakeholders in the sector have called for pooling resources together to tackle the challenges the sector is facing.

Speaking at the Covid-19 communication centre yesterday experts said … 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

Covid-19 – Why Is Public Smoking Ignored?

by Sara Nghishidimbwa

THE purpose of this article is to appeal to the Namibian government to fulfil or at the very least bring closer to fulfillment its promises to the masses through its laws.

In 2003, the World Health Organisation (WHO) adopted the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), one of the first global public health treaties aimed at reducing the demand for tobacco products and addressing supply issues.

Its main objective is to protect present and future generations from the devastating health consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.

In 2010, Namibia enacted the Tobacco Products Control … 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: Home remedies versus supportive care

by Yokany Oliveira

WHILE scientists are working towards finding a clinically approved vaccine for Covid-19, people around the world are turning to home remedies to treat the symptoms.

HOME REMEDY … Health specialists say some herbs and health medicine can help alleviate some Covid-19 symptoms in mild cases, although they cannot cure the virus.

A number of articles can be found online on how herbal medicines, vitamin supplements, and certain foods or teas can alleviate some of the symptoms of the disease – even though they are not a cure.

Some of these may simply help the body fight the … 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

Blood desperately needed

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

There is an urgent need for blood donors to donate, as the Namibia Blood Transfusion Services (NamBTS) faces a severe blood shortage.

The shortage is due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

This was announced by this morning’s panellists at the Covid-19 communication centre, who were discussing World Blood Donor Day and the importance of donating blood during the current pandemic.

The panellists said Covid-19 led to an extreme blood shortage, calling for relooking business models.

NamBTS educational officer Titus Shivute said there was a shortage of blood donations in the first stage of lockdown.

He said NamBTS faces … 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

Truckers disgruntled with quarantine facilities

by Okeri Ngatjiheue

TRUCK drivers across the country have complained about the state of the facilities where they are kept for their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Damien Mabengano, deputy director of transportation regulations in the Ministry of Works and Transport, yesterday at the Covid-19 communication centre in Windhoek said they have done an assessment of the facilities and noted some do not meet the required standards.

Adherence to regulations in the transport sector was discussed.

“They just call it a quarantine facility, but the things that are happening there . . . the conditions are not conducive and they (drivers) have … Read More

Malaria, an epidemic in a pandemic

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

HEALTH officials this morning said malaria is an epidemic within the Covid-19 pandemic, and efforts to combat infection should be intensified.

MALARIA TALKS … From left: National director for special diseases Anna-Marie Nitschke, health minister Kalumbi Shangula and E8 ambassador Richard Kamwi.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Malaria Elimination 8 (E8) ambassador Richard Kamwi said while Covid-19 is the new number-one enemy, malaria has always been around and kills far more people.

He said sub-Saharan Africa is home to 90% of malaria cases globally.

Speaking at a press conference on malaria amid Covid-19, Kamwi said malaria … 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

Update: Swakopmund pupils test negative for Covid-19

by Arlana Shikongo

THE Covid-19 tests conducted on four pupils at Swakopmund on Monday returned negative earlier today.

Kalumbi Shangula

Heath minister Kalumbi Shangula made the announcement on NBC’s 20h00 news broadcast this evening.

Shangula said the students were tested in line with the ministry’s protocol for expanded targeting testing, which mandates that anyone who presents themself at a heath facility with respiratory ailments is tested for the virus.

“Anybody who comes to the health facility with flu-like symptoms, will be tested.

“We have been doing it before and we will continue to do it. There is nothing special about … 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

Erongo buckles under Covid-19 pressure

BUSINESS owners in the Erongo region has issued a distress call saying their busineses would not survive the latest lockdown imposed on the region.

Businesses at the coastal towns are closed after president Geingob announced the Erongo region would go under stage 1 of lockdown regulations. Photo: Ester Mbathera

Those leading these concerns are businesses operating in the hospitality and culinary industries.

They said more retrenchments could be on the cards as businesses would struggle to cushion the impact of the latest measures.

President Hage Geingob yesterday announced a stage 1 lockdown for the entire Erongo region until 22 June. … Read More

Dienda quarantined after SA visit

by Elias Ndeyanale

ELMA Dienda, Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) member of parliament, will be quarantined for two weeks after she travelled to South Africa about a month ago for her daughter’s funeral.

Elma Dienda

Speaking to The Namibian on Monday morning, Dienda confirmed she is under quarantine in Windhoek after she travelled to Upington on 7 May.

She said when she crossed the Ariamsvlei border in the //Kharas region, she was escorted by police from the border to Windhoek to ensure she was placed in quarantine.

“I arrived this morning from South Africa where I had gone to bury my … 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

Pupils tested at Swakop

by ARLANA SHIKONGO and CHARMAINE NGATJIHEUE

FOUR pupils at a Swakopmund secondary school were yesterday morning tested for Covid-19 after displaying flu-like symptoms.

This was announced in a statement by the Ministry of Health and Social Services, in conjunction with the Ministry of Basic Education, Arts and Culture, stating that the four male pupils who reside at the Namib High School Hostel have since been placed in separate rooms in the hostel while awaiting their results.

“We understand that learners, and family of learners, attending this school will be concerned at this time. As an immediate step, the imperative of … 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

Chronic medicines stuck at border

by Yokany Oliveira

THE Namibia Oncology Centre (NOC) says it has been forced to stop the treatment of some of their patients as they await stock from South Africa amid border restrictions.

The private healthcare centre is the biggest facility in Namibia specialising in the treatment of cancer patients.

NOC general manager Anthea van Wyk last week confirmed the centre is facing challenges due to the delay of some chronic medication.

“Unfortunately, we have been experiencing a severe shortage of certain medicines since the lockdown was implemented in South Africa,” Van Wyk said.

She said half of the oncology centre’s … Read More

Walvis pupils booted from Swakop schools

by Taati Niilenge

SEVERAL pupils from Walvis Bay, who attend schools at Swakopmund, were sent home after reporting for class last week.

SNEAKING INTO SCHOOL … Children from Walvis Bay were among the pupils who started school last week at Swakopmund. Leaving and entering Walvis Bay is prohibited during Walvis Bay’s repeated stage 1 lockdown. Photo: Contributed.

Schools around the country, with the exception of those at Walvis Bay, resumed face-to-face learning last Wednesday for Grades 11 and 12.

At least 11 pupils were sent home to Walvis Bay after attempting to attend classes at Swakopmund.

Sibanga Sinvula, principal of … Read More

UPDATE: Namibia Covid-19 cases at 31

Namibia reports two more positive Covid-19 cases, both travel related. This brings Namibia’s total number of cases to 31.

Case number 30 involves a 27-year-old who returned from India and has been quarantined at a Karasburg facility.

Her condition is satisfactory. Case number 31 is a 50-year-old Namibian woman who also travelled from India. She is also in a satisfactory condition.… Read More

//Kharas governor stresses importance of mask wearing

by Luqman Cloete

//Kharas governor Aletha Frederick has stressed the importance of wearing face masks in public spaces in an effort to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.


“It is imperative to wear face masks at all times in the public space as part of the ongoing fight against the invincible enemy Covid-19,” she said at the handing over of masks to patients at Keetmanshoop State Hospital on Friday.

Small and medium-sized entrepreneurs manufactured the masks with material donated by the industrialisation and trade ministry.

Frederick lauded the empowerment of //Kharas SMEs through the donation of the material that … Read More

Namibia’s Covid-19 cases at 29

HEALTH UPDATE: Namibia’s Covid-19 cases now stand at 29, with the possibility of a local transmission at Walvis Bay.

Shangula, who was speaking at the Covid-19 communication centre this morning in Windhoek, said four students, who are currently quarantined in Windhoek, have also tested positive. The students had travelled from South Africa.

Meanwhile, case 26, which is suspected to be locally transmitted, is a 44-year-old man from Walvis Bay. The man has no travel history and investigations of the source of infection are ongoing.

Kalumbi Shangula
Read More

Oshana police on the hunt for runaway truck drivers

by Hileni Nembwaya

THE police in Oshana region have launched an urgent tracing operation of two truck drivers who allegedly abandoned their work trucks at Ondangwa and Omahenene border post after arriving in Namibia from South Africa earlier this week.

Photo used for illustration purposes only.

Both trucker drivers are employees of The 6000 Transport at Ondangwa.

It remains unclear whether the truck drivers were placed under mandatory quarantine when they entered the country.

However, the owner of The 6000 Transport, Mario Mwenyo, upon learning that the truck drivers abandoned their trucks, reported the matter to the police to allow … 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

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

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

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

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

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

Covid-19 diagnosed trucker escapes from quarantine

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue and Sonia Smith

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

Kalumbi Shangula

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

The truck driver travelled from South Africa on 8 May.

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

Teenage Delano donates food

by Clemans Miyanicwe

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

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

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

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

Opinion: Lifting the Veil on ICT in education

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

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

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

Yet another Covid-19 case

by Ndanki Kahiurika

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

Kalumbi Shangula


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

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

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

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

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

by Namibia Press Agency

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

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

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

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

Napwu and Nantu on Covid-19 measures

by Roxane Bayer

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

Petrus Nevonga

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

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

According to them, … Read More

The Arts Get Creative In Murky Times

by James Jamu

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

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

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

A modern David and Goliath story has unfolded.

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

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

Ongwediva trade fair cancelled

by Tuyeimo Haidula

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

Photo: File

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

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

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

Covid 19: No cause for panic

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

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula. Photo: MICT

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

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

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

“The detection of … Read More

Angolan nationals stuck in Namibia

by Ester Mbathera

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

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

Photo: Air Namibia

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

The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation … Read More

Schools raring to reopen

by Okeri Ngutjinazo and Roxane Bayer

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

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

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

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

Miners blast employers for challenging Govt

by Adam Hartman

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

Abiud Kapere

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

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

Namport offers parking to stranded ships

by Adam Hartman

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

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

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

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

Since … Read More

Kamanjab tackles lack of masks

by Clemans Miyanicwe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kalumbi Shangula

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

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

Tobacco craving lands SA citizens in jail

by Luqman Cloete

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

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

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

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

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

by Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka

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

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

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

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

Prices of Covid-19 essentials up 1000%

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

The Covid-19 pandemic around the globe

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

Live … Reopening of schools in phases

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

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

Sanet Steenkamp

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

Steenkamp said children’s health is priority.

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

WHO chief Tedros in the eye of the storm

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

Health faced with disease control challenges amid Covid-19

by Charmaine Ngatjihueue

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

Kalumbi Shangula

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

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

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

No funds for hawkers market

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

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

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

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

Salt company keeps going through virus lockdown

by Taati Niilenge

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

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

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

Nama festival postponed due to Covid-19

by Luqman Cloete

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

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

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

Nam clarifies border crossing for Angolans needing medical help

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

Calls to boost job creation

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

The retrenchments took place between 27 March and … Read More

Only the needy must get aid – Tjongarero

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

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

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

Coronavirus news briefs: 84 Namibians return from SA

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

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

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


Nanso launches food aid programme


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

Live (Ended) … Updates on Emergency Income Grant payments

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

Those without documents do not qualify for the grant.

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

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

Health minister announces 10 recoveries

by Ndanki Kahiurika

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

Kalumbi Shangula

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

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

In Africa, South … Read More

Coronavirus briefs: NaTIS offices reopen countrywide

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

Photo: Nampa

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

Public transport operators warned against excessive pricing

by Hileni Nembwaya

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

File photo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prank calls to Covid-19 call centre a nuisance

by Ndanki Kahiurika

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

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

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

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

Most volunteers manning the … Read More

Coronavirus briefs: De Beers donates testing equipment

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

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

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

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

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

Daan Strauss. Photo: MICT

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

He said working remotely … Read More

Zero alcohol during lockdown Stage 2

by Ester Mbathera

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

Zero alcohol during lockdown Stage 2. Photo: Adobe Stock

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

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

School premises not ready for teachers – unions

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

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

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

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

Shigwedha said … Read More

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus briefs: Schools to reopen on 3 August

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

Photo: File

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

N$2 000 for not wearing a mask

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

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

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

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

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

Shifeta launches conservation relief fund

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Video: Okeri Ngutjinazo

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

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

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

LIVE (Ended) … Discussion: Road to Recovery

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

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

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

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

Giving information on the … Read More

Second Namibian tests positive for Covid-19 in Zambia

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

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

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

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

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

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

President Hage Geingob

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

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

Namibia has … Read More

LIVE (Ended) … Lockdown Announcement

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

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

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

LIVE (Ended) … Update on 28 April Cabinet decisions

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

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

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

Mushelenga added that the government is yet … Read More

Confusion over Zim, Nam Covid-19 test kits donation

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bertha Katjivena

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

Live (Ended) … EU Grant to Namibia

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

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

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

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

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

Covid-19 test uncomfortable but necessary – journalists

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

Namibia has had no new infections, … Read More

Coronavirus briefs: Irimari urges continuous education on Covid-19

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

Elia Irimari

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

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

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

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

Ben Nangombe

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

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

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

Coronavirus briefs: Unam and Cardiff University donate blankets

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

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

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

Toll-free number gets 360 000 calls

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

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

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

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

LIVE (Ended) … Covid-19 impact on Agriculture

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

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

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

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

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

Lucia Iipumbu

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

Coronavirus briefs … FNB provides relief to SMEs

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

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

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

SSC stimulus package for labour sector

by Ndanki Kahiurika

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

Milka Mungunda

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

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

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

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

//Kharas police on lockdown education drive

by Luqman Cloete

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

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

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

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

Cold start to Covid-19 mass testing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ya Toivo said no employee should be … Read More

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

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

Photo: Nampa

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

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

Fishing group reaches out to employees

by Staff Reporter

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

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

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

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

“We … Read More

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

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

Robert Kahimise

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

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

LIVE (Ended) … Covid-19 update

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

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

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

Police inspector general Sebastian Ndeitunga … Read More

Covid-19 case one ‘re-infected’

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

“The first two cases involve … Read More

WHO donates PPE to Namibia

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

Covid-19: Acid test for media sustainability

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus briefs: NamPower assists Karibib, Omaruru with water tanks

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus ‘fake news’ now a crime

by Werner Menges

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

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

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

Live … Social mobilisation and community engagement (Ended)

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

Esther Muinjangue

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

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

Large-scale Covid-19 testing planned

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

Photo Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

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

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

“In fact we have … Read More

Govt launches targeted testing for essential workers

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

LIVE (ended) … Covid-19 Update

Kalumbi Shangula

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

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

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

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

Dausab said … Read More

Last arriving passengers not quarantined – Shangula

by Yokany Oliveira

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

Kalumbi Shangula

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

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

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

The State of Emergency Proclamation Act 9 … Read More

Community transmission Covid-19 cases suspected

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

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

President Hage Geingob

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pohamba Shifeta

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

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

Medicines regulator warns against Covid-19 self-testing

by Terttu Newaka

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

Photo: Reuters

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

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

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

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

Ben Nangombe

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

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

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

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

Govt considers ring fencing loans, mortgages

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

The homeless march on amid Covid-19

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

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

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

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

Pastor Shalom Nghifitikeko told … Read More

Capricorn commits N$5m to fight Covid-19

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

Thinus Prinsloo


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

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

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

Orano donates Covid-19 protective gear to police

by Adam Hartman

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

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

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


The officers stationed within … Read More

Panel discussion: Economic Income Grant update

Iipumbu Shiimi. Photo: Shinovene Immanuel

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

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

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

Unions threaten to withdraw health workers

by Sakeus Iikela

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus briefs: NamPost to distribute sanitisers around the country

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

Photo: iStock

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

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

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

The donation … Read More

Frequently Asked Questions on Lockdown

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

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

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

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

The Covid-19 pandemic around the globe

by Nampa-AFP-Reuters

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

Coastal residents donate to help needy

by Taati Niilenge

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

Photos: Contributed.


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

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


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

Erongo police stations inundated with emergency travel requests

by Ester Mbathera


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

Photo: Nampa


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


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


“Most of the requests are motivated … Read More

Alcohol abuse leads to GBV despite lockdown

by Ndanki Kahuirika

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

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

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

Kahimise said the city authorities have … Read More

Health worker falls victim to Covid-19

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

Namibians encouraged to take lockdown rules seriously

by Taati Niilenge

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

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

German national recovered

by Nomhle Kangootui

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

Kalumbi Shangula

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

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

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

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

Hage Geingob

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

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

Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila

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

Kalumbi Shangula

He urged the … Read More

Walvis Bay business community pools resources to fight coronavirus

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

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

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

The donation is valued … Read More

Corona delays tabling of national budget

by Lazarus Amukeshe

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

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

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

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

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

Health tracing SA couple with coronavirus

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

Quarantined group moves from Greiters centre

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

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

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

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

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

Covid-19 restrictions apply countrywide

by Werner Menges

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

Peya Mushelenga

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

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

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

Ongwediva forcibly shuts down open market, leaving vendors stranded

by Hileni Nembwaya


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

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


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

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

Update: Namibia confirms 11 Covid-19 infections

by Charmaine Ngatjuheue

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

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

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

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

Shangula disappointed about lockdown compliance

by Shinovene Immanuel

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

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

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


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

Shangula … Read More

29 truck drivers under quarantine

by Ndanki Kahuirika

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

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


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

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

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

Update: Hobas Lodge staff to self-quarantine

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

Emergency regulations apply to all regions – health minister

by Shinovene Immanuel

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

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

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

“Namibia … Read More

Covid-19 lockdown coincides with payday

by Ester Mbathera

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

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

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

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

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

Khorixas street vendors struggling

by Clemans Miyanicwe

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

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

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

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


“It’s very slow; … Read More

Passenger restrictions for taxi drivers

by Ndanki Kahuirika

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

Photo: Garwin Beukes

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


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

Mining operations discontinued

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

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

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

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

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

Keetmanshoop shops implement safe distancing measures

by Luqman Cloete

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

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

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

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

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

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

“Equally, … Read More

Budget tabling delayed

by Nghinomenwa Erastus

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

Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi

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

He, however, assured … Read More

Two people under quarantine at Oshikango

by Hileni Nembwaya

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus briefs : MTC responds to Covid-19

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

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

Countdown to lockdown

by Ndanki Kahiurika

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

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

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

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

Informal settlement on receiving end

by Roxane Bayer

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

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

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

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

Erongo prepares for lockdown

by Adam Hartman

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

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

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

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

18 students quarantined at Katima Mulilo

by Ndanki Kahiurika

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

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

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

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

“The park has been … Read More

Eighth Covid-19 case confirmed

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

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


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

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

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

Keetmanshoop test for two suspected coronavirus cases

by Luqman Cloete

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

Keetmanshoop State Hospital. Photo: Nampa

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

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

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

Rosh Pinah mine plans for Covid-19

by Luqman Cloete

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

The Rosh Pinah Mine site.
Photo: Trevali Mining Corporation

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

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

“We escalated the precautionary measures by sanitising … Read More

Anxiety over lockdown as confusion clouds directives

by Charles Tjatindi

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

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

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

President Hage Geingob on Wednesday announced … Read More

Coronavirus briefs: NWR offers resort as isolation facility

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

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

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

WestAir retrenches amid virus outbreak

by Ndanki Kahiurika and Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

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

Lockdown time clarified

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

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

Free water for DRC informal settlement

by Adam Hartman

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

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

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

MUN calls for swift response to Covid-19

by Luqman Cloete

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

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

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

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

German embassy evacuates tourists

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Bernhard Haufiku

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

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

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

Employee engagement key to calming Covid-19 uncertainty

by Staff reporter

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

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

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

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

Tourism suffers amid Covid-19 fears

by Ndanki Kahiurika

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

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

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

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

Public, private health join forces against Covid-19

by Adam Hartman at Walvis Bay

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

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

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

Medical interns fear Covid-19 exposure

by Adam Hartman

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

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula.
Photo: Garwin Beukes

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

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

Covid-19 measures target informal traders

by Taati Niilenge and Nghinomenwa Erastus

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus: News Briefs

Nampol implements Covid-19 measures

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

Pharmacies, retailers hike hygiene essentials prices

by Nghinomenwa Erastus

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

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

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

LOCKDOWN: Khomas, Erongo under lock and key

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue and Okeri Ngutjinazo

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

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

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

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

The … Read More

Romanian couple out of danger

by Okeri Ngutjinazo and Terttu Newaka

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

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

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

Coronavirus: News Briefs

Rundu Ngandu festival postponed

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

Logistics, Agribusiness may get Boost From Covid-19 Scare

by Rochelle Neidel 

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

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

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

World Briefs

Harvey Weinstein tests positive for coronavirus 

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

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

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

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

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

World Briefs

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

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

Fellaini tests positive for coronavirus

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

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

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

Aurlus Mabélé

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

Covid-19 promotes digital banking in Namibia

by Adam Hartman

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

China central bank says too early to talk of financial crisis

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

New toilets to enhance sanitation

Fransina Kahungu

by Roxane Bayer

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

by Roxane Bayer

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

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

Swapo expels Itula

by Sakeus Iikela

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

Quarantine facility in deplorable state

by Okeri Ngutjinazo and Terttu Newaka

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

Sports events hit by coronavirus pandemic

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

OLYMPICS

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

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

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

OLYMPIC TRIALS

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

* US Rowing postponed its team trials.

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

Business sector intensifies coronavirus fight

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue 

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

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

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

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

Cabinet sets Covid-19 measures for uniformed forces

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

by Arlana Shikongo

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

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

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

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

Coronavirus Briefs

by Roxane Bayer

No more taxi and learners’ licences until mid-April

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

Namibia records third Covid-19 case

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

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

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

Durant among Brooklyn Nets players diagnosed with Covid-19

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

Nampa

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

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

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

Football buries differences to tackle coronavirus

by Brian Homewood

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

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

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

Emmerson Mnangagwa

Zim declares disaster state, no confirmed Covid-19 cases

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

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

by Alan Baldwin

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

Nampa – AFP

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

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

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

IMF wants renegotiation of loans amid virus

by Lazarus Amukeshe

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

Image Source: imf.org

The call is part of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) policy recommendations set to help guide countries in the difficult days ahead.

Georgieva said, while it is true that some countries are harder hit than others, solidarity is needed more than ever and polices that talk to each other across the board have the ability to lessen the virus’s effect.

“While quarantining and social distancing is the right … Read More

22 suspected cases of coronavirus test negative

Photo: Henry van Rooi

by Ndanki Kahiurika

HEALTH minister Kalumbi Shangula yesterday revealed that as of 17 March  only two of the 24 suspected cases of coronavirus tested positive.

He said this during a weekly press briefing held in Windhoek yesterday.

The two cases that tested positive was the Romanian couple, and no new confirmed case has been reported so far.

“As of yesterday, a cumulative number of 24 suspected cases were reported in Namibia and all of them were tested. Four were tested by a private laboratory of which two tested negative and two tested positive. The latter was … Read More

Covid-19 bites business earnings hard

by Ndanki Kahiurika

MOST businesses that depend on large gatherings are battling to survive in the face of the 30-day ban to raise enough rent, staff salaries and to keep the business running.

At several restaurants and hangout places in Windhoek, employers spoke of how they were trying to continue businesses without placing themselves or their workers at a disadvantage.

Ruvinoh Graig, the general manager of MoJoe’s Lounge at Windhoek’s Game shopping centre said business has been slow.

She said her employees were carrying on their daily duties, upholding hygiene with disinfection every now and then.

She, however, said the … Read More

SSC sends 13 workers on self-quarantine

by Okeri Ngutjinazo

THE Social Security Commission has placed 13 of its workers under self-quarantine after they were in contact with an employee who recently travelled on the same flight with Namibia’s two confirmed coronavirus cases. 

Unomengi Kauapirura

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula on Saturday announced the country’s first confirmed coronavirus cases after a Romanian couple who arrived in the country last Wednesday was confirmed to be carrying the coronavirus. 

 The results were received on Friday evening.  Shangula said the couple came from Madrid, Spain, via Doha, Qatar, before coming to Namibia through the Hosea Kutako International Airport. 

Social Security Commission … Read More

OFF LIMITS … A sign at the entrace to Lady Pohamba Private Hospital in Wind- hoek states that the health facility is not a centre for testing for coronavirus. Instead, the hospital advices the public to get tested using other centres, such as the mobile clinic parked in front of the hospital. Path-

Care and NHP, in partnership with Lady Pohamba Private Hospital in Windhoek are operating a mobile clinic in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. PathCare staff members Anna Kaulnawoye and Maravilha Pedro say they are ready to assist people at the mobile clinic testing for the coronavirus. … Read More

‘We are humans too’ Quarantined family bemoans treatment

by Charmaine Ngatjiheue

THE guest house worker who came into contact with the Romanian couple from Spain that tested positive for the novel coronavirus says her family is being stigmatised and discriminated against by their community.

“They are referring to us as the coronavirus family. They saw the commotion going on around our house when we were informed about the couple that tested positive,” the worker, who is only identified as Kasuko, said.

In a telephonic interview with The Namibian, Kasuko (20) recounted meeting the couple, saying she came into close contact with them and even touched a few … Read More

Sporting events called off

by HELGE SCHÜTZ

SPORTING events in Namibia have gone into lockdown following the coronavirus pandemic which has now also reached Namibia. 

The chief administrator of the Namibia Sport Council, Freddy Mwiuya, yesterday announced that all national and international events had been called off with immediate effect. 

“Following president Geingob’s announcement on Saturday to call off all large gatherings in Namibia, we have decided that all national and international sporting events will be suspended with immediate effect for a period of 30 days,” he said. 

“This doesn’t mean that sportsmen and women should stop training. They can still do so on … Read More

Events called off – following confirmation of the Covid-19

Dj Castro who was lined up to perform at the 30th Independence Concert.

by Staff Reporter

The organisers of the Namibian Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) and organisers of the 30th Independ- ence Day concert have cacelled the NAMA nomination launch and postponed the 30th independence concert, after president hage Gein- gob announced a suspension of big gatherings on Saturday.

Geingob made the statement after two cases of cornonavirus has been confirmed in Namibia.

The NAMA nomination launch that was scheduled to take place on 27 March, will no longer be held. The event brings together over 600 artistes. This year … Read More

The economics of a virus … hoping for the best, prepared for the worst

by Martin Muhleisen and Tobias Adrian

INDIVIDUALS infected by the coronavirus potentially face a blow to their health and personal and economic well-being.

Similarly, countries hit by a sudden and unexpected public health emergency – as the coronavirus is proving to be-can see their economies slow and their budgets squeezed as they spend more to counter the impact of the virus.

At the same time, they may experience a drop in revenue from a decline in economic activity. Countries could also face lower export revenues due to falling tourism receipts or a decline in commodity prices.

A sudden halt in … Read More

Namibia battles coronavirus

by Arlana Shikongo

Photo: Henry van Rooi

While Namibia was still determined to facilitate the ‘special occasion’ of celebrating the 30th anniversary of its independence, Geingob made it clear that no large public gatherings should be hosted for the next 30 days.

“The health of Namibians is the first priority. Appropriate precautionary measures must be taken,” Geingob said during a media briefing on Saturday.

“The Namibian government is suspending inbound and outbound travel to and from Qatar, Ethiopia and Germany with immediate effect for a period of 30 days. All big gatherings are suspended for a period of 30 days,” … Read More

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