Kalumbi Shangula

Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula says the country officially has six recoveries of the 16 confirmed covid-19 cases. The cases are three, five, six, 14, 15 and case number 16.

He says they hope to test 200 000 Namibians, which will include key groups such as those working in the mining, fishing, health and media sectors.

Shangula is speaking at the daily covid-19 communication centre at the Khomas Regional Council head office in Windhoek.

The panel, which consists of attorney general Festus Mbandeka, justice minister Yvonne Dausab, will today discuss the legalities of the lockdown extension.

Dausab said the extension of lockdown was two fold. The president called for an extension and that called for an amendment of the regulations and modifications of regulation content.

Yvonne Dausab. Photo: Nampa

According to her, a lockdown is one measure of the state of emergency.

She said the biggest change is additional requirements to the entire nation. “We previously had an annexure of just Khomas and Erongo (regions), but now it affects all. There has also been relaxation of some regulations, like opening up space of informal trading and vendors as well as critical services like education needed to be included on the regulations list,” said Dausab.

Mbandeka said the idea was to make the amendments in such a way that they are understood by all and do not cause confusion.

Festus Mbandeka. Photo: File/Contributed

He asked the public to engage him on what his office can do to make the modifications better.

Dausab said there must be rules and regulations to ensure that government achieves the objectives of a state of emergency.

When it comes to informal traders, they become a critical service because if one needs vegetables for instance, they can go around the corner where a vendor sits and be able to buy, Dauseb said.

Mbandeka said there has been debate on what the numbers of people in a gathering should be.

He said they had to consider families who live ten plus in a house and how to place measures around this.

In reference to joggers in numbers, Mbandeka said there must be social distancing and the element of sanitation.

Dausab said exercise is being encouraged, but people must do it in their neighbourhood so as to avoid congregating.

The police are permitted to give out fines to people who do not comply with the regulations governing commuting during the lockdown, Dauseb said.

Fake news will be criminalised, the panel said, only if law enforcement officials can determine the intent behind it, and whether it was generated to cause harm or not. The decision to address the issue of fake news was prompted by the increasing incidence of fake news in circulation.

John Nakuta

Moderator John Nakuta asked why there are no regulations to deter police officers from abusing the public.

Mbandeka responded that there have been incidents where members of the public were subjected to violence at the hands of the police and urged those people to report the mistreatment.

If citizens rights are violated, they must report the abuse to the appropriate authorities as such behaviour will not be tolerated, Mbandeka said.

The decision to divide Namibia into zones, justice minister Yvonne Dausab said, came about due to the need to ensure that all people have access to essential services such as shops and pharmacies.

Dausab said the aim is to clamp down on people’s movement as a means to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Mbandeka added that people are not allowed to move between zones except with a valid permit.

The police are permitted to give out fines to people who do not comply with the regulations governing commuting during the lockdown.

Dausab said although the possession of alcohol is not prohibited under the regulations, the police, under the Criminal Procedure Act, can arrest people suspected of commuting whilst in the possession of alcohol.

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