Andrew Kathindi

Namibia Police (Nampol) Chief, General Sebastian Ndeitunga has called for stringent penalties to be imposed on those putting public lives at risk by knowingly spreading COVID-19.

This comes as Namibia has witnessed increased cases where those with Covid-19 have knowingly left quarantine facilities and interacted with the public.

In some cases, COVID-19 positive individuals have gone out on drinking and partying sprees, posing a health risk to hundreds of people, with the latest case being one involving a Windhoek-based male.

“If a person knew or suspected that they are positive, the person is not supposed to spread it. This is totally criminal. It’s criminal because if you are spreading this type of disease and you are infecting others and if people succumb to the disease, then it’s murder,” Ndeitunga told Windhoek Observer.

“It’s totally uncalled for and it should be criminalized.”

The young man who tested positive for COVID-19 is said to have shared hookah pipes, shot glasses at various bars and establishments where most people were not wearing masks or adhering to prevention regulations.

“I will even ask my colleagues from the legal department if they are involved in this case. I will also speak to the Attorney General to see what can be done, to see if this person was aware what he was doing; was it life threatening and if he should be arrested?”

He further added, “Those dealing with the case might look to the regulation and consequences of someone knowingly doing it. Probably our regulations might provide for some penalties and those are the penalties that should be used against them.”

The Police Chief said that his office and Ministry of Health and Social Services have found themselves having to waste resources to trace people that would have come into contact with the COVID-19 positive cases, including the weekend case.

“And these people are adults. They should be conscious about their decisions, but they are running around infecting other people. It should be a big concern, not just to me but all Namibians. We should be concerned about people who do not want to adhere to measures put together by government to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

This comes as the Chief previously called for changes to be made to the Liquor Act after identifying alcohol as a prime reason for the spread of COVID-19.

Windhoek on Monday reported 73 cases, the highest single-day tally for the capital city. The Khomas region has now recorded over 400 positive cases to date.

Health Minister, Kalumbi Shangula on Monday revealed that most of 73 cases reported in Windhoek are linked to one other and increasing on a daily basis.

“We are strengthening control measures in Windhoek as well as in all areas, to curb the further spread. These include increasing testing, increasing isolation and quarantine facilities, among others,” said Shangula.