COVID-19 restrictions extended …as Namibia passes COVID-19 death estimates

Andrew Kathindi

President Hage Geingob on Wednesday extended the current COVID-19 regulations, with minor changes to the measures.

Under the current dispensation, which will last until 30 April, restriction on movement will remain in place from 22h00 until 04h00, daily. Restaurants, bars and shebeens will be permitted to extend the trading hours for liquor up to 22h00, Mondays to Saturdays. The sale of alcohol on Sundays will remain prohibited, while attendance at public gatherings have been increased from the current number of 50 to 100 persons per event, whether the event is held indoor and outdoor.

Minister of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), Kalumbi Shangula, said, however, that he is concerned by the high number of COVID-19 infections being recorded on a daily basis.

“At present, the number of new infections remains high. Infections are being reported on a daily basis from all regions around the country. Basic Reproductive Ratios indicate that COVID-19 transmission in our communities is continuing to spread and calls for greater vigilance and compliance from all of us.”

According to the Minister, Namibia has overshot the 396 COVID-19 deaths as estimated in the World Health Organisation (WHO) Africa Region disease projection model for March 2021. The country has thus far recorded 523 deaths attributable to COVID19.

“The epidemiological curve has not assumed a downward trajectory to the levels where we can say, our country is out of the woods, as far as COVID19 infections, related illnesses and deaths are concerned. In other words, we are still far from sustainably flattening the curve. This must be a great concern for all of us,” said Shangula.

The Minister has revealed that the roll-out vaccination campaign for Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced in India, will begin on Thursday 1 April as part of Phase 1 of the campaign. The Indian government donated 30 000 doses of the vaccine to Namibia earlier this month.

On 19 March the Government began with the roll-out of the Sinopharm vaccine, which was donated by China. Thus far 1501 have been vaccinated for COVID-19.

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