President Hage Geingob and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have both warned that Namibia is currently facing a second wave of COVID-19.
This comes as the country has registered over 300 cases of COVID-19 over the last two days, with, the highest single day number thus far and five deaths over the last two days.
“The second wave has arrived, and we are considering what we can do because people are taking the situation very lightly. This disease is killing people. So, let us take it very seriously,” said President Geingob.
CDC Country Director Dr Eric Dziuban concurred with the President’s sentiments.
“We can definitely say that a second wave is here. People in this region and especially Windhoek really need to take themselves back to where their minds were earlier this year before the fatigue about the virus and precautions,” he told Windhoek Observer.
He said that his office was receiving reports that hospitals in the country were more congested than at any other time this year.
With December holidays already in motion for some and on the horizon for others, Dr Dzuban warned that people, particularly those in Windhoek which has emerged as the leading area with the highest cases, may need to reconsider their holiday plans.
“People need revisit what they’re deciding to do. The events and travel they are planning – is it worth it? It’s a tough decision but people need to weigh out whether that kind of travel makes sense at the moment.”
He said that there is a growing fear that people in Windhoek will spread the second wave throughout the country as they travel for the holidays.
According to the CDC, Luderitz, Omaruru, Otjiwarongo are the towns outside Windhoek were cases are also rising rapidly.
“If you’re traveling from Windhoek to another part of the country, think about the risk that you may be bringing with you and the kind of exposure you want to take there. Nobody wants their holiday to be ruined by a tragic event by a gathering that could have been postponed.”
Dr Dziuban believes that further restrictions during the holiday may be necessary to curb the spread of the virus, stating that it would be better to delay holiday celebrations.
“People worry about a lockdown but there are lots of things that can be done that are not economically harmful and could slow down the pace of the virus.”
He added, “In terms of gathering sizes and much stricter uses of masks in public places, things like that. I know it is being considered but regardless of what the government decides, individuals must decide that we are in a much different place than we were a few weeks ago.”
President Hage Geingob previously stated that the country could not economically afford to face full restrictions and lockdowns as a response to a second wave of the pandemic.