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 Centre this morning.

She said 10 more people have been placed in quarantine facilities in the past 24 hours, bringing the number of quarantined people to date to over 800, with approximately 300 people still in quarantine facilities. Muinjangue said 230 people have been contact traced, and of that number, 19 are still active and are being monitored.

Esther Muinjangue

She admitted obtaining masks is a challenge and said they are waiting for the trade ministry to make masks available after mass production.

Speaking at the Covid-19 Communication Centre this morning, the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia’s Benedict Libanda said the facility is a great move for the conservation sector.

He said close to 70% of Namibians rely on natural resources and the sector has employed over 4 000 people in 2018. He said it has been negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, threatening food security.

Libanda said his company’s contribution to the facility is N$6 million, and the EIF intends to contribute to this facility post Covid-19. The conservation sector has lost N$3,2 million due to the pandemic.

Addressing the same platform, Nedbank’s Meeks said the bank offers N$1 million towards the conservation facility to help mitigate the loss of income of those in the conservation sector.

Alka Bhatia commended the government for acting swiftly in setting up measures to tackle Covid-19. She said the UNDP is prepared to support Namibia in dealing with Covid-19, especially when it comes to vulnerable Namibians.
“We are working across key sectors to slow the spread of the virus and with civil society organisations to tackle the spread of the virus in vulnerable communities,” she said.

She said the UNDP will ensure society recovers from the adverse effects of Covid-19. The programme is committing roughly N$1,26 million towards the conservation relief fund to safeguard environmental benefits. Bhatia said they would also assess the impact of Covid-19 on Namibia’s tourism industry.

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