by Arlana Shikongo and Charmaine Ngatjiheue
PRESIDENT Hage Geingob this afternoon said Namibia’s 13 regions will remain in the current stage 4 of the Covid-19 state of emergency, while Erongo remains in stage 3.
The president made this announcement during a media briefing at State House on Monday afternoon, in which he indicated that 90% of the Covid-19 positive cases are from Walvis Bay.
He added that while Namibia’s new cases are increasing at a fast pace due to the spread in Walvis Bay, there is no evidence at the moment of transmission of the virus within the community in the rest of the country.
“The current stage 4 measures will therefore be maintained for all 13 regions with exception of the Erongo region, which remains under stage 3,” he said.
The president said it is frightening that there are community transmissions at Walvis Bay, while the rest of the country is reporting sporadic cases.
He added that Namibia is dealing with two Covid-19 instances, where Walvis Bay is in a different situation compared to the rest of the country.
“We are fully aware that restrictions on the movement of people and the lockdowns necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic have had an adverse effect on our economy.
“However, Namibia’s incidence curve for Covid-19 cases has risen sharply in recent weeks. Flattening this sharp rise will now more than ever require government to remain firm and responsive to the changing realities on the ground,” he said.
Additional measures for three coastal towns
Health minister Kalumbi Shangula says with the exponential increase in cases at Walvis Bay, the three towns Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis will remain in lockdown, while the rest of the region remains in stage three of lockdown from 6 July midnight, to 3 August 2020.
He added that there will be a travel ban with the exception of essential and critical services from these towns.
Travel into and out of these three towns is still not allowed, the minister said.
Home based quarantine can be allowed, but on guidelines from the government. Public gatherings at the region restricted to 10, while schools are not allowed to resume face to face lessons.
Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis residents leaving the town, except for critical service providers to be quarantined for 14 days at own cost.
The minister said the sale of alcohol would be allowed in stage three, but on a takeaway basis.