President warns third wave peak yet to come

Andrew Kathindi

President Hage Geingob has warned that the third wave of COVID-19 that has been ravaging the country could yet get worse, stating that the spread could reach its peak in August.

This comes as the country has recorded over 34 000 cases in the month of June alone. “Expert projections and simulation tools indicate that the rising incidence curve, during this Third Wave, is expected to peak around mid-August, and may continue well until mid-September 2021. The darkest hour of the night, comes just before day-break. It is expected to get worse, before it becomes better. We must therefore do everything in our power to suppress the rate of transmission.”

The President further warns that the Delta variant, which was discovered in India, would well be among us. The results for the genome sequencing on the variant are expected on Friday, 2 July. This comes as Geingob extended the lockdown that has been in place in Windhoek, Okahandja and Rehoboth, to all the regions, with movement between regions now restricted.

The 13 regions have now been divided into 10 zones between which movement will be restricted for the purpose of the measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. “No travel will be permitted between regions, however travel within region, will be permitted. Returning residents, essential service providers, emergency medical cases and transportation of human remains for burial purposes, will be permitted entry and exit into restricted regions, with the relevant permit.”

The curfew, which has been in place from 22h00 to 04h00, has now been brought forth to 21h00 until 04h00, while public gatherings will remain capped at 10 people. Face to face classes for Grades 10, 11 and 12, which were operating while lower grades were on a winter break, have now also been suspended due to the rise in cases

The sale of liquor has now been restricted from 09:00 to 18:00 on take-away basis between Mondays to Thursdays, and no alcohol is to be sold from Fridays to Sundays.

Meanwhile, Health and Social Service s Minister, Kalumbi Shangula, has expressed concern in the continued delays the country faces in procuring more vaccines. Government has set aside N$484 million for the purchase of additional vaccines. “The Government is seriously concerned about the delays that have hampered delivery of the vaccines to the country. We will spare no effort in our engagement with the potential suppliers of vaccines to vaccinate more people in Namibia. Our systems supported by the existing Expanded Programme on Immunisation are readying to go, and once more supplies arrive in the country, the vaccines will deployed speedily,” Shangula says.

The country expects 160 800 doses of AstraZeneca through the COVAX Facility and AZ Europe by early and mid-July; 250 000 doses of Sinopharm through Sinopharm and UAE by early July; and 250 000 doses of J&J vaccine through AVATT by August.

Namibia received 197, 200 doses of COVID-19 vaccines of which 143 813 has thus far been used. She has thus far recorded 89 917 cases of COVID-19 with 1 521 deaths.

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