Health minister Kalumbi Shangula (centre), justice minister Yvonne Dausab (right) and attorney general Festus Mbandeka are about to address the nation on new regulations to curb the spread of the second Covid-19 wave in Namibia.
Speaking at State House, Shangula said president Hage Geingob introduced stricter measures to address the Covid-19 pandemic a week ago.
He said the number of people at gatherings were reduced, and citizens were told to wear their masks and adhere to regulations.
He said the measures were to last for 14 days.
In the past few days, the number of cases, however, reached records, hospitals are overwhelmed and the need for testing has increased.
He said over 2 000 new Covid-19 cases have been recorded since 16 December, indicating the situation is dire.
He said the number of deaths over that period has also increased, and the statistics are staggering.
The minister said the government will introduce new measures in line with the Public and Environmental Health Act of 2015, with effect from today until 13 January 2021.
Attendance at public gatherings should be recorded in registers, he announced.
Movement will be restricted.
The sale of alcohol will be allowed from 09h00 to 20h00 only.
The wearing of masks will be compulsory in all public places, while businesses must ensure people sanitise and adhere to regulations.
The period in which the remains of someone who died of Covid-19 should be buried has been revised from 72 hours to seven days.
This, according to the minister, is to afford family members the chance to give their loved ones a dignified burial.
Shangula has called on Namibians to stand together in addressing the pandemic to protect the country from certain devastation.
He said the government would continue to do its best to address the pandemic and safeguard the health of Namibians.
The minister reiterated the president’s warning that stringent measures would be introduced if the situation gets worse.
Movement will be restricted from 21h00 to 04h00.
Justice minister Yvonne Dausab says the curfew from 21h00 to 04h00 must be adhered to countrywide.
Gatherings will be limited to a maximum of 50 people per event. Organisers or hosts of public gatherings must keep registers of attendance, recording attendees’ names and contact numbers.
Restriction of movement
Movement is restricted between 21h00 and 04h00 until 13 January 2021.
Sale of alcohol
Selling alcohol for on-site consumption at shebeens, bars, nightclubs, gambling houses, casinos and restaurants, as well as trading is allowed from 09h00 to 20h00 from Mondays to Saturdays.
No alcohol may be sold on Sundays and public holidays.
Compulsory wearing of masks
Masks are compulsory for everyone in public places, including vehicles, aircraft and other means of public transport.
All businesses, including informal markets, are required to ensure that all patrons or visitors to premises sanitise their hands with alcohol-based sanitisers, or with soap and water.
The period within which the remains of Covid-19 deceased are to be laid to rest has been revised from 72 hours to seven days.
Covid-19 PCR test results for travel purposes
Non-Namibian travellers can now present a negative Covid-19 test result not older than seven days.
The health minister says there is no evidence that a new coronavirus variant is present in Namibia.
He said the country should, however, not disregard this possibility, similar to what is experienced in South Africa and Europe.
“Regardless of whether there’s a new variant, the health protocols that need to be adhered to remain the same,” he said.