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 these measures are relaxed the responsibility moves to the individual person,” said Shangula.

He discouraged the public from alcohol consumption in the time of a pandemic, saying alcohol can put many at risk especially if consumed excessively.

“The problem with alcohol is when a person is intoxicated, that person is no longer in the position to observe the personal preventative measures like social distancing and they might speak to other people closely and might not even be wearing a mask,” he said.

Police clarify alcohol sale in Erongo

The sale of alcohol, which was banned in the Erongo region under stage 1 of the lockdown, resumed today, with liquor outlet owners seeking clarity on the sale of alcohol under stage 3 of the state of emergency restrictions.

The police’s community affairs commander in Erongo, Ileni Shapumba, says police stations have been inundated with phone calls from liquor outlet owners seeking clarity about the sale of alcohol in the region.

According to the stage 3 Covid-19 proclamations, the sale of alcohol by licensed liquor outlets is permitted in Erongo between 12h00 and 18h00 except on Sundays, while buying and selling is only permitted for takeaways.

Alcohol may be consumed in private dwellings, but not in public spaces. Nightclubs, gambling houses and casinos are also not permitted to operate during stage 3.

Shapumba further explained that the police are working in collaboration with health officers to sensitise hairdressers and barbershops to practise proper hygiene in their establishments.

“We are concerned about the safety of hairdressers and barbers, if they have enough protective gear such as masks and gloves. We hope they took the responsibility to stock up on PPE [personal protective equipment]. The same goes for barbers who only keep one apron for all customers,” said Shapumba.

He encouraged individuals going to these establishments to take the lead and carry their own supplies such as aprons to avoid exposure to Covid-19.

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