Tujoromajo Kasuto

The Namibian Wildlife Resorts (NWR) has introduced an initiative to recognize frontline workers such as health professionals, police officers and military personnel in Namibia and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) who have been at the forefront of mitigating the impact of Covid-19.

NWR resorts are offering a 50 percent discount to all frontline workers when renewing or acquiring a Namleisure card, a media statement issued today by NWR Spokesperson, Mufaro Nesongano, reveals. According to the statement, NWR conceived a special competition to honour each frontline worker in Namibia and SADC that started in late August and will run until 15 October, 2021, after reflecting on the high demand of frontline workers work which has prevented some of them from taking a vacation to “recharge their batteries”.

Nesongano notes that “it’s close to two years that Covid-19 dramatically changed everything about life. Yet, our Frontline officers have been steadfast in ensuring that we as a nation are taken care of. “

With the Namleisure card, each frontline officer will qualify for a cheaper rate off the resorts’ current special on accommodation and a 25% discount on activities and meals at any NWR resort for a year. To qualify for the discount, they need to provide proof of their frontline status during the application period.

The other special, which is in honour of them, will allow Namibians and SADC residents an opportunity to book at any of NWR’s Eco resorts, Dolomite, Onkoshi and Sossus Dune Lodge for two nights and get the third night for free.

Through these specials, aimed at honoring the frontline workers, NWR hopes they will get an opportunity to feel appreciated. Additionally, each time a frontline worker acquires or renews a Namleisure card, they will spontaneously get entry to a competition to stand a chance to win a two-night stay for two people at any NWR resort on a Bed and Breakfast basis.

NWR Managing Director, Matthias Ngwangwama, in statement says that each frontline officer is worthy of being honoured and celebrated for the immeasurable sacrifices he/she has been making and continues to make. “We hope that this gesture from us can accord all our frontline officers in Namibia and SADC an opportunity to rest and recuperate when time allows as they have surely sacrificed a lot for all of us,” he adds.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had devastating operational impact on the Namibian workforce as a result of staff shortage, lockdowns implemented as a means to combat increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases, deaths and rate of hospitalisation with a major stretch to the workers.

Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Kalumbi Shangula, last month reported that the country’s health system was overwhelmed. The hospital-bed capacity across the country could not accommodate any more admissions, oxygen supplies where exhausted, and health workforce was overstretched. As a result some healthcare workers got infected as they were saving lives, and sadly, some of them lost their lives. He had further stated that the country has lost 21 healthcare workers while on duty.

This came as Namibia in June and July experienced the Third Wave, with over 1500 deaths reported in July alone. The country currently stands at a cumulative 126,290 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 3,435 deaths, according to latest figures from the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS). As of 11 September a total of 371517 vaccine doses have been administered.