President Hage Geingob on Thursday morning announced that the Khomas region has a vaccination coverage of “only” 17%. Geingob said this during the 39th national Covid-19 briefing. “We still have a long way to go,” he said.

Health and social services minister Kalumbi Shangula

Health and social services minister Kalumbi Shangula expressed concern over the high number of reinfections.

“Active cases have increased two fold, and 183 lives have been lost,” he said.

Covid-19 cases have declined to approximately 450 cases per day after 26 December 2021, Shangula said.

The country reached its peak after recording over 1 300 cases in a single day, during Namibia’s fourth wave, driven by the Omicron variant.

Shangula said the country’s daily vaccination take-up has increased by 54%.

The minister said 90% of deaths, hospitalisations and intensive care admissions are of people who are not vaccinated.

“We have noted with disgust the anti-vaccine campaign, while people have lost their lives to the virus,” Shangula said.

Amendments to regulations from 16 January to 15 February 2022

  1. Public gatherings: 200 people per event, with sufficient social distancing
  2. No curfew
  3. Education institutions may operate at full capacity
  4. Sale of alcohol will remain unchanged
  5. The wearing of masks remains mandatory in public places
  6. Spectators at sporting events: maximum of 200 people
  7. Public transport remains unchanged
  8. The limit of people at burials: 200
  9. Fully vaccinated Namibians are no longer required to present a PCR test when travelling into the country

Health and social services minister Kalumbi Shangula

Responding to questions, health minister Kalumbi Shangula says it is not entirely correct to say the number of hospitalisations is increasing, as the government releases cumulative figures of all hospital cases.

He notes that region-by-region, the number of hospitalisations are reducing, whereas in other regions the numbers are up, hence there is a balance.

Touching on whether or not Covid-19 will reach its natural end, Shangula says if the majority of the population is vaccinated, the population will be less susceptible to the virus. This will lead to the infectious disease ‘dying out’.

Shangula adds that they are working with suppliers to ensure that the vaccines received do not have a shelf life of less than three months, in order to avoid having to dispose of expired vaccines.

He says the ministry is satisfied with the current rate of vaccination, which is a positive development. Shangula maintains that presently vaccination remains voluntary and if there is a change in policy, it will be communicated to the public.

Deputy information minister Emma Theofelus

Deputy information minister Emma Theofelus reminded the public that information on social media is not always local, making it difficult to verify or allow the law to take its course.

Speaking at the Covid-19 briefing this morning, Theofelus called on Namibians to fact check all information.

Meanwhile, education minister Anna Nghipondoka reiterated that schools are open and all pupils should attend. In terms of compliance, Nghipondoka says the ministry has made funds available for schools to purchase PPEs.

She called on parents to work with the ministry to ensure compliance with Covid-19 health measures.

Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi

Speaking at the Covid-19 briefing, finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi says the new regulations are a measure of economic recovery.

The country’s recovery plan also entails the Harambee Prosperity Plan, which seeks to find new ways of diversifying the economy and targeting new areas of growth, as well as the green hydrogen project.

Shiimi adds that under the diversification strategy, Namibia will work with both domestic and international investors to grow certain sectors of the economy. He says as a result, the private and public sectors should collaborate to benefit the economy.

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