PRESIDENT Hage Geingob is addressing the nation on the country’s Covid-19 response plan amid fears of a second wave of infections.
Speaking at the 19th Covid-19 briefing, Geingob said since the outbreak in March, the regulations enforced in September are due to lapse at midnight on Wednesday.
He said by Tuesday, the country had recorded 12 367 confirmed cases, of these, 10 528 or 85% have recovered while 1 707 are active.
“We regret the loss of 132 Namibians to Covid-19 or related illnesses,” he said, adding that this is only 1% of the total infections.
The president added that the country has implemented various measures to suppress the spread of the disease, which have yielded results.
He added that Namibians have largely complied with regulations, and to date there is a reduction of new cases reported and deaths.
He noted that some regions have gone as far as reporting zero new cases and emphasised that going forward, Namibians should prioritise complying with regulations as the country cannot afford to lose more lives.
“One life lost, is a life too many,” he said.
Geingob stressed that crowded places and closed places, such as schools, prison holdings cells and others continue to record high cases.
At least 352 pupils and over 300 health care workers have contracted Covid-19 to date, he said.
The country ranks number three in Africa in terms of testing.
Geingob added that Cabinet met to come up with new measures that come into effect from 22 October, and that will apply to all 14 regions.
These include; all travelers coming into Namibia with a negative Covid-19 test result not older than 72 hours do not need to quarantine for five days.
However those who have a negative test result older than 72 hours must go into quarantine for seven days.
Returning Namibians do not need to show negative test results but would need to go into quarantine.
Geingob said restrictions on the number of people in a private or public transport has been reviewed and vehicles may carry the normal number but occupants are to adhere to all set regulations.
The president said Namibia will gradually reopen borders, to get economic activities to resume.
The number of people at public gatherings has been increased to 200 until 30 November.
He added that the tourism revival plan has started showing encouraging results since it was introduced.
He added that the reduction in new Covid-19 cases is testimony of the effect of efforts by Namibians to deal with the pandemic.
Health and social services minister Kalumbi Shangula implored travellers to adhere to set regulations now that mandatory quarantine has been lifted.
He said those arriving in Namibia and show symptoms will be subjected to a mandatory test.
He said special arrangements will be implemented for health care workers in line with the government’s risk categorisation.
Shangula said consultations are ongoing regarding getting the Covid-19 Covax vaccines. He added that Namibia is finalising in itiatives to get a safe vaccine once it is available.
Shangula further said as the borders open up, they would be employing full time health officers at targeted ports of entry, especially for those with high traffic volumes.
Attorney general Festus Mbendeka said since there has been a relaxation of various restrictions, there is a need for Namibians to be vigilant, and act with caution to minimise the spread of Covid-19.
He further expressed concern that some public gatherings such as weddings do not adhere to set regulations.
“We do not want to get back to the earlier stages of the pandemic,” he said.
He noted that if Namibians adhere to regulations, the country can slowly but gradually return to normal.