Namibia's national response measures on COVID19
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Namibia are rising and as of 24 March 2020 stand at six.
Following a media briefing at State House, the President of Namibia, H.E. Dr.Hage G. Geingob reiterated, “the Health of Namibians is the first priority,” alluding to why the Government declared a State of Emergency on 17 March 2020 with urgent and aggressive measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Cabinet deliberated on the status of COVID-19 in Namibia and the measures needed to strengthen detection, testing, quarantine, isolation and contact tracing to mitigate the further spread of this deadly virus.
The President outlined how COVID19 bears a threat not only to the people of Namibia and public health system but also the economy, directly impacting businesses and the livelihoods of people. Therefore, the Government’s key priority is to curb the spread of the disease.
Geingob called on all Namibians to cooperate with authorities and to remain calm, to ensure that public order is not compromised. The extraordinary measures undertaken by Government are with the sole purpose of protecting the health, security and safety of the Namibian people.
The Minster of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, announced the following measures will be adopted:
1. The travel ban is extended to all countries around the World for a period of thirty (30) days and applies to all Namibians and permanent residents.
2. Special circumstances for the admission of certain persons 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.
3. All returning Namibians and Permanent residents and Permanent residents arriving from high-risk countries are subjected to mandatory supervised quarantine for 14 days, at own cost.
4. Special dispensation applies to business, commerce and trade missions and activities only from neighbouring countries, on a reciprocal basis, to facilitate the flow of supplies, goods, commodities and services into Namibia.
5. Admission of persons into Namibia from neighbouring countries for reasons contemplated in (3) above, will be considered taking into account the criticality of such mission to the national interest and safety and security of the Republic of Namibia.
6. All Government employees as well as those in the State-Owned Enterprises and Private sector are to operate from home for the next 14 days, except those providing critical services. The categories of affected services will be announced in the next – Days.
7. The Public is urged to remain at home and avoid public gatherings at places such as bars, Shebeens, nightclubs and markets. The law enforcement organs to enforce these measures.
8. Internal travel restrictions will apply with respect to Khomas and Erongo region, for a period of 21 days starting on Friday, 27th March 2020 and ending Thursday, the 16th April 2020.
9. The following ports entry are closed for passengers (MHAISS can verify the list) • Oshikango • Katwitwi • Wenela • Buitepos • Ariamsvlei • Noordoewer • Luderitz • Walvis Bay
10. Parliament sitting is suspended for 21 days starting Wednesday, the 25th March 2020 to Thursday, the 14 April 2020.
11. Private health service providers must inform the Ministry of Health and Social Services immediately upon identify a suspected case.
12. Further measures will be announced as the situation dictates.