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.
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 by the upcoming Easter long weekend. There is a form that people have to fill in when requesting for an emergency travel [permit]. Most people are using death certificates as a motive to apply for the emergency travel permission and it is difficult for us to determine that the person is really related to the deceased person,” said Shapumba.
Shapumba urged applicants to be honest and truthful when applying to travel for an emergency because there is a greater risk of exposing themselves and others to the Covid-19 virus.
The Erongo region – like the Khomas region – is under a total lockdown with a ban on travel from and into the region.
According to the health ministry, travelling is only considered depending on the nature of trip to be undertaken, and the necessity of such a mission to the national interest and safety and security of Namibia.