Namibia will be on a partial lockdown for 21 days until 16 April in an attempt to curtail the further spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The announcement by President Hage Geingob and Health Minister Kalumbi Shangula coincided with news of a seventh case of COVID-19 in the country. The country’s borders with South Africa, Angola and Botswana have been closed.
This was announced on Tuesday afternoon at a media briefing during which president Have Geingob laid out measures that will be implemented around the country.
“Today Cabinet met and received briefings on the status of Covid-19 in Namibia and deliberated on the next necessary measures to strengthen detection, testing, quarantine, isolation and contact tracing, to mitigate the further spread of this deadly virus,” President Geingob, said.
Furthermore, the parliament will be suspended for 21 days from Wednesday, 25 March.
Namibia has now recorded seven positive cases of the virus, which includes three Namibians – one of which is suspected to be a local transmission – and four foreign nationals. This tally includes the Romanian couple which were the country’s first two positive cases and who have since recovered.
The national response measures as detailed by Health Minister Shangula will include a travel ban that is extended to all countries for a period of 30 days, and applies to all Namibians and permanent residents.
However, accommodation will be made for “special circumstances”. Shangula said: “Certain persons coming into Namibia will be considered and approved by the relevant institutions, depending on the nature of travel to be undertaken, and the criticality of such mission to the national interest and safety and security of the Republic of Namibia.”
Shangula also said all returning Namibians and permanent residents arriving from high-risk countries will be subjected to a mandatory supervised quarantine period of 14 days, at their own cost.